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Eating Cotton: Cottonseed, Crisco, and Consumer Ignorance

  • Helen Zoe Veit

Abstract

Americans have eaten significant amounts of cottonseed oil since the late nineteenth century. Yet for generations, few Americans have known how often they eat foods made from the cotton plant. Crisco paved the way for this kind of consumer ignorance. Launched by the Procter & Gamble company in 1911, Crisco was a wholly new product: a solid fat made entirely from liquid cottonseed oil, the result of the novel technology of hydrogenation. Responding to tenacious prejudice against cottonseed, Crisco's marketers made consumer ignorance acceptable by promoting the idea that industrial processing was akin to purification and encouraging consumers to put trust in brands rather than to focus on ingredients. The Progressive Era is supposed to be a period when food processing became increasingly transparent, and in some ways it was. But in the wake of the Pure Food legislation of 1906 and in conjunction with an exploding food advertising industry that highlighted factory processing as a unique virtue, American consumers increasingly trusted both government oversight and industrial food production. Cottonseed oil's history is ultimately a story of consumers’ growing confidence in highly processed food and their growing comfort with ignorance about the ingredients that went into it.

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*Corresponding author. E-mail: hveit@msu.edu

References

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Notes

1 Lévi-Strauss, Claude, Totemism (Boston: Beacon Press, 1963), 89.

2 Shields, David, “Prospecting for Oil,” Gastronomica 10:4 (Fall 2010): 32.

3 Hayter, Delmar, “Expanding the Cotton Kingdom,” Agricultural History 62:2 (Spring 1988): 225.

4 Spending on advertising increased dramatically in the early twentieth century, and the food industry spent more on advertising than any other industry. Marchand, Roland, Advertising the American Dream: Making Way for Modernity, 1920–1940 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985); Newman, Kathy, Radio Active: Advertising and Consumer Activism, 1935–1947 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004); Parkin, Katherine, Food Is Love: Food Advertising and Gender Roles in Modern America (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006), 2. Spending on processed foods sold by national brands made up an increasing share of Americans’ grocery spending, with a variety of major food corporations thriving by the early 1920s. Veit, Helen Zoe, Modern Food, Moral Food: Self-Control, Science, and the Rise of Modern American Food in the Early Twentieth Century (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013), 151–2.

5 Shields, “Prospecting for Oil,” 32. Terri Lonier, Alchemy in Eden: Entrepreneurialism, Branding, and Food Marketing in the United States, 1880–1920 (PhD diss., New York University, 2009), 102.

6 Cooper, William J., “The Cotton Crisis in the Antebellum South: Another Look,” Agricultural History 49:2 (Apr. 1975): 389.

7 “The Wonderful Cottonseed,” New-York Tribune, Nov. 29, 1911, 5, Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers, Library of Congress (LOC).

8 Wrenn, Lynette Boney, Cinderella of the New South: A History of the Cottonseed Industry, 1855–1955 (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1995), xvi.

9 Shields, “Prospecting for Oil.”

10 Ibid. Some slaves ate cottonseed as part of their rations. Doc Quinn, interviewed by Cecil Copeland, Texarkana, Arkansas Narratives, vol. II, part 6, Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936–1938, LOC. Interview with John G. Hawkins by Miss Irene Robertson, Biscoe, Arkansas, 1937, Born in Slavery, Arkansas Narratives II, part 3; E. Driskell, “George Womble, Ex-Slave” 1-20-37, Whitley, Georgia Narratives IV, part 4, Born in Slavery, LOC. The historian Walter Johnson notes at least one slave owner who “tried to vertically integrate his operations by feeding his slaves on cottonseed oil” but was forced to stop after the slaves’ bodies broke out in sores. Brown, From John, Slave Life in Georgia: A Narrative of the Life, Sufferings, and Escape of John Brown, a Fugitive Slave, ed. Boney, F. N. (Savannah: Library of Georgia, 1991), 147, in Johnson, River of Dark Dreams: Slavery and Empire in the Cotton Kingdom (Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2013), 187.

11 Shields, “Prospecting for Oil,” 32.

12 Wrenn, Cinderella of the New South, 3.

13 Hayter, “Expanding the Cotton Kingdom,” 229.

14 Shields, “Prospecting for Oil,” 32–33.

15 In 1881, to protect Italian olive oil producers from competition and adulteration, the Italian government placed a heavy tariff on imported cottonseed oil, and as oil exports slowed to a halt in the United States in the 1880s, oil flooded the domestic market. Lonier, Alchemy in Eden, 105–6.

16 Wrenn, Cinderella of the New South, 80.

17 Lonier, Alchemy in Eden, 106.

18 Wrenn, Cinderella of the New South, 77, 82.

19 Ibid., 82.

20 Shields, “Prospecting for Oil,” 33.

21 The Louisville Directory for the Year 1832 (Louisville, KY: Richard W. Otis, 1832; repr. Louisville, KY: G. R. Clark Press, 1970), 98.

22 “Short, adj.,” 20b., Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 2018, online.

23 “Shortening, n.,” Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 2018, online.

24 Simmons, Amelia, American Cookery (Hartford, CT: Printed for Simeon Butler, Northampton, 1798), 35, MSU Special Collections (MSUSC).

25 For example, Emerson, Lucy, The New-England Cookery (Montpelier, VT: Josiah Parks, 1808), MSUSC; Lydia Maria Francis Child, The Frugal Housewife (Boston: Carter and Hendee, 1830), MSUSC; Beecher, Catharine, Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book (New York: Harper, 1850, ca. 1846), MSUSC; Lea, Elizabeth Ellicott, Domestic Cookery (Baltimore: Cushings and Bailey, 1869), MSUSC; Wilcox, Estelle Woods, Buckeye Cookery (Minneapolis, MN: Buckeye Pub. Co., 1877), MSUSC; Corson, Juliet, Miss Corson's Practical American Cookery (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1886).

26 Wrenn, Cinderella of the New South, 78.

27 Making lard at home involved trimming fat from pig kidneys, dicing it, soaking it, and cooking it over low heat for hours.

28 Wrenn, Cinderella of the New South, 83.

30 Horowitz, Roger, Putting Meat on the American Table: Taste, Technology, Transformation (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006), 4344, 49; Pacyga, Dominic, Slaughterhouse: Chicago's Union Stockyard and the World It Made (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015). Nineteenth-century American cookbooks providing instructions on home lard production include The Cook Not Mad (Watertown, NY: Knowlton & Rice, 1831), MSUSC; Beecher, Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt Book, MSUSC; Sanderson, J. M., The Complete Cook (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, 1864), MSUSC; De Voe, Thomas Farrington, The Market Assistant (New York: Hurd and Houghton, 1867), MSUSC; Wilcox, Estelle Woods, Buckeye Cookery (Minneapolis, MN: Buckeye Pub. Co., 1877), MSUSC; Corson, Juliet, Miss Corson's Practical American Cookery (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1886), MSUSC; Gillette, Fanny Lemira, White House Cook Book (Chicago: R.S. Peale & Co., 1887), MSUSC; Wilcox, Estelle, The New Practical Housekeeping (Minneapolis, MN: Home Publishing Co., 1890); Farmer, Fannie Merritt, The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (Boston, Little, Brown and Company, 1896), MSUSC; Hill's, A. P. Mrs. Hill's New Cook-Book (New York: G. W. Dillingham Co., 1898). By the 1910s, it was extremely rare to find instructions on home lard production outside of nostalgic cookbooks that aimed to preserve older foodways, such as McCulloch-Williams, Martha, Dishes & Beverages of the Old South (New York, McBride, Nast & Company 1913), MSUSC.

31 Petrick, GabriellaLarding the Larder: Designing Taste for the Modern Age,” The Senses and Society 5:3 (2010): 383.

32 “Using Snowdrift Hogless Lard,” ca. 1910, Southern Cotton Oil Co., item 6, box 184, Culinary Ephemera, Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive, University of Michigan Special Collections (JBLCA). Pure Food Cook Book: Wholesome-Economical Recipes, ed. Mrs. Lincoln, Mary J. (Fairbank Co., 1907), 10, Shirley and Alan Sliker Culinary Ephemera Collection, MSUSC (Sliker Collection). Many of the Sliker Collection materials had not yet been catalogued at the time of publication.

33 “A Public Secret,” Cottolene advertising booklet (Fairbank Co., 1900), Sliker Collection.

34 Mrs. W. W. Vaughn, “A Few Cooking Suggestions,” 2, recipe leaflet (Cincinnati, OH: Procter & Gamble, ca. 1912), Sliker Collection.

35 For more on the porous boundary between meats and desserts in the nineteenth century, see Petrick, “Larding the Larder,” 385.

36 Petrick, “Larding the Larder,” 385–86.

37 Shields, “Prospecting for Oil.”

38 From Ransom, Luther A., The Great Cottonseed Industry of the South (New York: Oil, Paint and Drug Reporter, 1911), 53, quoted in Wrenn, Cinderella of the New South, xx.

39 “Cottonseed and Its Uses,” Scientific American 106:26 (June 29, 1912): 584.

40 “Flour from Cotton Seed May Help Solve Food Problem,” New York Times, May 29, 1910, 14.

41 Alchemy is precisely the metaphor that Terri Lonier uses to describe the transformation of a variety of agricultural commodities—from cottonseed oil to oats to sugar—into marketable consumer products in this era. Lonier, Alchemy in Eden: Entrepreneurialism, Branding, and Food Marketing in the United States, 1880–1920,” Enterprise & Society 11:4 (Dec. 2010).

42 Henry Fountain, “Edible Cottonseed,” New York Times, Nov. 21, 2006, F3.

43 G. A. Bell and J. O. Williams, “Cottonseed Meal for Horses,” USDA bulletin no. 929 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office [GPO], Dec 17, 1920), 1. Young calves, too, sometimes got sick from eating too much. W. F. Ward, “Cottonseed Meal for Feeding Beef Cattle,” USDA bulletin no. 655 (Washington DC: GPO, April 1915).

44 “Cottonseed Meal as Food,” The [Baltimore] Sun, Apr. 11, 1915, 10.

45 “Cottonseed Flour Is Coming into Use,” Atlanta Constitution, Mar. 31, 1910, 3.

46 “Flour from Cotton Seed May Help Solve Food Problem,” New York Times, May 19, 1910, 14. J. B. Rather, “Digestion Experiments on Men with Cottonseed Meal” (College Station: Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, 1913). Frances Elizabeth Stewart, “Lessons in Cookery” (Chicago: Rand McNally & Company, 1920), 48.

47 For example, “Cotton Seed Bread,” The Watchman and Southron (Columbia, SC), Mar. 12, 1910, 4, Chronicling America, LOC.

48 “Cottonseed Cake to Reduce Bread Price,” The Daily Missoulian (Missoula, MT), Sept. 1, 1917, 7, Chronicling America, LOC.

49 “Cottonseed Bread,” Wall Street Journal, Apr. 30, 1915, 2. Halligan, J. E., “Cottonseed Meal as a Human Food,” The American Food Journal XV 7 (Chicago: July 1920): 10.

50 G. S. Fraps, “Cottonseed Meal as Human Food,” Texas Agricultural Experiment Stations, bulletin no. 10, (Austin, TX: Von Boeckmann-Jone Co., Mar. 1910), 5, 9.

51 Rather, “Digestion Experiments,” 7.

52 Rather, “Digestion Experiments,” 11.

53 1910 U.S. Census, Bryan, Brazos, Texas, roll T624_1529, 28A, enumeration district 0009, Ancestry.com. 1920 U.S. Census, Brooklyn Assembly District 11, Kings, New York, roll T625_1161, 5A, enumeration district 654, Ancestry.com.

54 Rather, “Digestion Experiments,” 17.

55 Halligan, “Cottonseed Meal as a Human Food.”

56 Veit, Modern Food, Moral Food.

57 Imported olive oil also became harder to obtain because of the war. “Use Cottonseed Oil,” The Weekly Iberian (New Iberia, LA), Nov. 14, 1914, 1, Chronicling America, LOC.

58 “Cottonseed Cake to Reduce Bread Price,” The Daily Missoulian (Missoula, MT), Sept. 1, 1917, 7, Chronicling America, LOC.

59 For examples of recipes calling for cottonseed products, see Allen, Ida C. Bailey, Mrs. Allen's Book of Sugar Substitutes (Boston: Small, Maynard & Company, 1918); Fifteen Lessons on Food Conservation, Texas. Advisory Educational Committee on Home Economics (Austin: Dept. of Education, State of Texas, 1917); Goudiss, C. Houston and Goudiss, Alberta M., Foods that Will Win the War, and How to Cook Them (New York: World Syndicate Company, 1918); Lawrence, M. Minerva, Save the Wheat: 24 Recipes Using Wheat Flour Substitutes (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1917); Lynch, Reah Jeannette, “Win the War” Cook Book (St. Louis: Woman's Committee, Council of National Defense, Missouri Division, 1918); Ten Lessons on Food Conservation, Lessons 1 to 10, United States Food Administration, (Washington, DC: GPO, Aug. 1, 1917); Webber, Carolyn Putnam, Two Hundred and Seventy-Five War-Time Recipes (Bedford, MA: The Bedford Print Shop, 1918). Procter & Gamble, too, produced a special cookbook emphasizing Crisco's potential as a wartime butter substitute. Hill, Janet McKenzie, War Time Recipes (Cincinnati, OH: Procter & Gamble, 1918), MSUSC; Liberty Cook Book (Los Angeles: Los Angeles City Teachers Club, 1917); Wadhams, Caroline Reed, Simple Directions for the Cook (New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1917); Sweeney, Mary E., War Cook Book (Louisville, KY: Mayes Print. Co., 1918); Gillmore, Maria McIlvaine, Economy Cook Book (New York: E. P. Dutton & Company, 1918); “Dollar Stretchers: Clever Women's Easy Economies, Step Savers and Money Makers,” Ladies’ Home Journal (June 1918): 48; Patriotic Cook Book, issued by the Women's Committee, Council of National Defense, Mayor's Advisory War Board (Cleveland, OH: The Committee, 1918); Twentieth Century Club War Time Cook Book (Pittsburgh, PA: Pierpont, Siviter & Co., 1918); Mrs. McKeene, H. A., Keep the War Foods Cooking, Illinois Farmers’ Institute (Springfield: Dept. of Household Science, Illinois Farmers’ Institute, 1918); “How You Can Keep Step With the Food Administration in Feeding Your Family,” Ladies’ Home Journal (Sept. 1918): 36; Conservation Cook Book (Alameda, CA: Alameda Times-Star, 1918); Blackman, Edith, War-Time Cookery: Practical Recipes Designed to Aid in the Conservation Movement (Ypsilanti, MI: The Ypsilanti Press, 1917); War Breads: From the War Bread Exhibit, prepared by the Department of Foods and Cookery, v. 38 (New York: Columbia University, 1918).

60 Wrenn, Cinderella of the New South, 99.

61 Lonier, Alchemy in Eden, 107.

62 Ibid., 107–8.

63 Strasser, Susan, Satisfaction Guaranteed: The Making of the American Mass Market (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989), 3. “How Crisco Was Made Possible,” Crisco advertisement, Ladies’ Home Journal (June 1912): 47.

64 Lonier, Alchemy in Eden, 108–10.

65 Lonier, Alchemy in Eden, 112.

66 Lonier, “Alchemy in Eden.”

67 Strasser, Satisfaction Guaranteed, 3.

68 “Foods—Wholesome Delicate and Dainty,” Crisco advertisement, Good Housekeeping (Feb 1912): 15.

69 Lonier, Alchemy in Eden, 169. Hill, Janet McKenzie, Balanced Daily Diet (Cincinnati, OH: Procter & Gamble, 1916), 7, Sliker Collection.

70 Strasser, Satisfaction Guaranteed. List, Gary and Jackson, Michael, “The Battle over Hydrogenation (1903–1920): Part II, ‘Litigation,’Inform 20:6 (June 2009).

71 Koehn, Nancy, Brand New: How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumer Trust (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2001), 44.

72 Strasser, Satisfaction Guaranteed, 8.

73 Ibid., 11. Lonier, Alchemy in Eden, 11–14.

74 Lonier, Alchemy in Eden, 113.

75 Strasser, Satisfaction Guaranteed, 10–11

76 For example, Kander, SimonMrs., The Settlement Cook Book: Containing Many Recipes Used in Settlement Cooking Classes, 6th ed. (Milwaukee: [publisher not identified], 1901), MSUSC; The Best in the West: Our Friends’ Recipes (Sioux City: Davidson Bros. Co., 1918), MSUSC.

77 Greenbaum, Florence Kreisler, The International Jewish Cook Book: 1600 Recipes According to the Jewish Dietary Laws with the Rules for Kashering, 2d ed. (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1919), x, MSUSC.

78 Lytton, Timothy, Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrial Food (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013), 44.

79 Henry, May and Halford, Kate, “Dainty Dinners and Dishes for Jewish Families,” (London: Wertheimer, LEA & Co., 1902), MSUSC; Jennie June's American Cookery Book (New York: American News Company, 1870), 319, MSUSC; Orphan Aid Cook Book: A Collection of Well Tested Recipes (Newark, NJ: The Hebrew Women's Orphan Aid Society of Newark, 1911), MSUSC. Lytton, Kosher, 44.

80 Solomon, Eileen, “More than Recipes: Kosher Cookbooks as Historical Texts,” The Jewish Quarterly Review 104:1 (Winter 2014): 30. See also Lytton, Kosher, 44. Diner, Hasia, Hungering for America: Italian, Irish, and Jewish Foodways in the Age of Migration (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), 211–12.

81 “Foods—Wholesome Delicate and Dainty,” Crisco advertisement, Ladies’ Home Journal (Feb. 1912): 51.

82 Neil, Marion Harris, A ‘Calendar of Dinners’ with 615 Recipes, 8th ed. (Cincinnati, OH: Procter & Gamble, 1915), Sliker Collection.

83 Hill, Janet McKenzie, Balanced Daily Diet (Cincinnati, OH: Procter & Gamble, 1916), 2, MSUSC.

84 Neil, Calendar of Dinners, 8th ed.

85 Crisco Recipes for the Jewish Housewife (Cincinnati, OH: Procter & Gamble, 1933), NYPL Digital Collections.

86 Solomon, “More Than Recipes,” 30.

87 Greenbaum, The International Jewish Cook Book, 270.

88 For example, William Gottstein, Sigismund Aronson, Salmon G. Spring, “The Ladies’ Auxiliary to Temple de Hirsh Famous Cook Book” (Seattle, 1916), MSUSC. Greenbaum, The International Jewish Cook Book. The Center Table, rev. ed. (Boston: The Alpine Press, 1929), MSUSC. Lytton, Kosher, 44. Diner, Hungering for America, 211–12.

89 Crisco advertisement, Good Housekeeping (July 1916): 15; Crisco advertisement, Good Housekeeping (Feb. 1916): 15.

90 Neil, Calendar of Dinners, 8th ed.; Neil, Calendar of Dinners, 20th ed.

91 Wrenn, Cinderella of the New South, 83. As late as early 1911, Procter & Gamble had planned to use the name “Krispo,” but there was already a cracker by that name. Strasser, Satisfaction Guaranteed, 9.

92 Italics original. Neil, Calendar of Dinners, 8th ed., 12, 15. Crisco advertisement, Good Housekeeping (Jan. 1912): 21.

93 Sarah Field Splint, “Pies and Pastry,” advertising booklet (Cincinnati, OH: Procter & Gamble, 1926), Sliker Collection.

94 Wrenn, Cinderella of the New South, 79.

95 George J. Marlin, “The Story of Huey Long: Cottolene Salesman, Wealth Redistributor, Dictator,” The Bond Buyer (Sept. 8, 1992), n.p.

96 “The Best Way to Shorten Pie,” Cottolene advertising card (Fairbank Co., 1900), MSUSC.

97 For instance, “A Public Secret,” Cottolene advertising booklet (American Lithographic [illegible] Co., Fairbank Co., ca. 1900), Sliker Collection; Home Helps: A Pure Food Cook Book (Fairbank Co., 1910), Sliker Collection. For more on racial imagery in Cottolene advertising, see Weaver, William Woys, “The Dark Side of Culinary Ephemera: The Portrayal of African Americans,” Gastronomica 6:3 (Summer 2006); Bernstein, Robin, Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights (New York: New York University Press, 2011). Cotosuet advertising card, Swift Co., Chicago, 1893, item 1, box 186, JBLCA; Cottolene advertising card (Fairbank Co., ca. 1900), Sliker Collection.

98 The 1894 case helped to establish the principle in U.S. law that while companies could not trademark common words, they could invent words that suggested ingredients or functions. The case that finally settled the issue was the 1896 case Singer Manufacturing Co. v. June Manufacturing Co. As the historian Joseph M. Gabriel writes, the Supreme Court ruled “that the trademarked word ‘Singer’ had passed into common use and acted as a ‘generic designation’ of the type of sewing machine manufactured by the Singer company rather than a name ‘indicating exclusively the source or origin of the manufacture.’ The Singer company's patent on its machine having expired, other manufacturers had every right to manufacture the same type of sewing machine and, the court ruled, had the right to do so under the term that acted as the common name of that type of machine.” Gabriel, Medical Monopoly: Intellectual Property Rights and the Origins of the Modern Pharmaceutical Industry (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014), 177. P. F. “Trademarks and Tradenames: Invented Words: Extent of Trademark,” California Law Review 5:5 (July 1917). In 1906, Good Housekeeping singled out Cottolene for its transparency about its ingredients. “Our Roll of Honor,” Good Housekeeping (Feb. 1906): 187.

99 Ransom, The Great Cottonseed Industry of the South. Wrenn, Cinderella of the New South, 79. “Recipes,” Wesson Snowdrift Oil booklet, (Savannah, GA: Southern Cotton Oil Co., 1911), 3, Sliker Collection.

100 “Cottolene: Twelve Telling Testimonials and Some Receipts Worth Trying,” ca. 1905, Sliker Collection. Richards, Ellen H., The Chemistry of Cooking and Cleaning: A Manual for Housekeepers (Boston: Home Science Publishing Co., 1897); Home Helps, ed. Rorer, Sarah Tyson (Chicago: Fairbank Co., 1898); The Fredonia Cook Book (Fredonia, Fredonia Censor Print, 1899); Chidlow, David, The American Pure Food Cook Book and Household Economist (Chicago: George M. Hill Co., 1899); Farmer, Fannie Merrit, The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1902); Mrs. Colcord, Anna L., A Friend in the Kitchen (Washington, DC, Review and Herald Pub. Association, 1908); Mrs. Lincoln, Mary J., Willis, Lida Ames, Mrs. Rorer, Sarah Tyson, Mrs. Armstrong, Helen, Harland, Marion, Home Helps: A Pure Food Cook Book (Chicago: Fairbank Co., 1910); The Magnolia Cook Book, comp. Daughters of the King S.S. Class of the Magnolia Avenue Christian Church (Los Angeles, 1910); Maddocks, Mildred, The Pure Food Cook Book: The Good Housekeeping Recipes (New York: Hearst's International Library, 1914); Kander, Mrs. Simon, The “Settlement” Cook Book (Milwaukee, WI: J. H. Yewdale & Sons Co., 1915); Nesbitt, Florence, Low Cost Cooking (Chicago: American School of Home Economics, 1915); Anderson, Hans Steele, Food and Cookery: Handbook for Teachers and Pupils for Use in Cooking Classes and Demonstrations (Loma Linda, CA: The College Press, 1915); The Fredericksburg Home Kitchen Cook Book (Fredericksburg: Ladies Auxiliary of Fredericksburg, Texas, 1916); Greer, Carlotta C., School and Home Cooking (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1920); Matthews, Mary Lockwood, Foods and Cookery and the Care of the House (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1921); Mrs. De Graf, Belle, Mrs. De Graf's Cook Book (San Francisco, H.S. Crocker Co., Inc., 1922).

101 Oreskes, Naomi and Conway, Erik M., Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming (New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2010).

102 Schleifer, David, “The Perfect Solution: How Trans Fats Became the Healthy Replacement for Saturated Fats,” Technology and Culture 53:1 (Jan. 2012).

103 Cottonseed boosters regularly acknowledged such prejudice, although they usually did so, optimistically, in the past tense. For example, Cottonseed and Its Uses,” Scientific American 106:26 (June 29, 1912): 584.

104 “Facts About Cottonseed,” reprinted from The Washington Post, The San Francisco Call, July 1, 1911, 6, Chronicling America, LOC. Sarah T. Rorer, “Fats and Oils,” Mrs. Rorer's Cooking School: Seventh Lesson, Ladies’ Home Journal (May 1902): 28. For example, Letter from Mrs. F. A. B. in CT, “Dr. Wiley's Question-Box,” Good Housekeeping (May 1923): 84.

105 Ransom, The Great Cottonseed Industry of the South.

106 L. M. Tolman, Lewis Storms Munson, “Olive Oil and Its Substitutes,” USDA bulletin no. 77 (Washington, DC: GPO, 1903), 4–5.

107 “Every Housewife Her Own Chemist,” Nashville Tennessean and the Nashville American (Nashville, TN), Nov. 13, 1910, A8.

108 For example, Vernon Campbell, “Tests for Olive Oil,” Good Housekeeping (Aug 1905): 162–63; “To Test Olive Oil, The Wenatchee Daily World (Wenatchee, WA), Mar. 28, 1907, 2, Chronicling America, LOC; “Every Housewife Her Own Chemist,” The San Francisco Call, Nov. 6, 1910, 14, Chronicling America, LOC.

109 Thomas, Courtney, In Food We Trust: The Politics of Purity in American Food Regulation (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014). Cohen, Ben, Pure Adulteration: Cheating on Nature in the Age of Manufactured Food (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2019).

110 “Poisoned Rubbish Is Sold by Unscrupulous Men for Food,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Feb. 20, 1898, 26.

111 Thomas, In Food We Trust, 18. Turner, Katherine Leonard, “How the Other Half Ate: A History of Working-Class Meals at the Turn of the Century (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2014).

112 For instance, Albert H. Welles, “Truthful Labels on Food Products,” Good Housekeeping (May 1902): 385. Harvey Wiley, quoted in William MacHarg, “Speaking of Dr. Wiley,” Good Housekeeping (Apr. 1920): 123. “Every Housewife Her Own Chemist,” Nashville Tennessean and the Nashville American, Nov. 13, 1910, A8. “Use Cottonseed Oil,” The Weekly Iberian (New Iberia, LA), Nov. 14, 1914, 1, Chronicling America, LOC; “Use Cottonseed Oil,” Nov. 12, 1914, The Manchester Journal (Manchester, VT), Chronicling America, LOC; “Opportunity to Become Better Acquainted” The Idaho Recorder (Salmon City, ID), Dec. 10, 1914, Chronicling America, LOC.

113 “Cottonseed and Its Uses,” 584.

114 F. E. Carruth and W. A. Withers, “Gossypol—A Toxic Substance in Cottonseed. A Preliminary Note,” Science XLI:1052 (Feb. 2, 1915): 324.

115 Bell and Williams, “Cottonseed Meal for Horses,” 8, 3.

116 For example, W. F. Ward, “Cottonseed Meal for Feeding Beef Cattle,” USDA bulletin no. 655, (Washington, DC: GPO, Apr. 1915), 1; and “Feeding Cottonseed Products to Livestock,” USDA bulletin no. 1179 (Washington, DC: GPO, 1920, rev. 1924). “Feeding Cottonseed Products to Livestock,” USDA bulletin no. 1179 (Washington, DC: GPO, 1920, rev. 1936), 1–2.

117 Gallup, Willis D., “Studies on the Toxicity of Gossypol: The Response of Rats to Gossypol Administration During Avitaminosis,” Journal of Biological Chemistry 93 (1931): 382.

118 For example, “Is Cottonseed Oil Wholesome?” one reader wrote doubtfully to the Ladies Home Journal in 1908. In Emma Walker, “Pretty Girl Questions: April Rains a Rejuvenator,” Ladies’ Home Journal (Apr. 1908): 54.

119 The Bureau of Chemistry, created in the wake of the Pure Food Act of 1906, was “the first federal regulatory agency” and “predecessor to the Food and Drug Administration.” Thomas, In Food We Trust, 20.

120 “Dr. Harvey A. Wiley Explains Resignation,” Daily Princetonian, Mar. 16, 1912, 1.

121 Thomas, In Food We Trust, 21.

122 Ibid. de Koven, Anna, “The Athletic Woman: Good Housekeeping (1912),” The American New Woman Revisited: A Reader, 1894–1930, ed. Patterson, Martha (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2008).

123 Crisco advertised regularly in Good Housekeeping throughout this time period.

124 Letter from J. S. M. from NY to Dr. Wiley's Question-Box, Good Housekeeping (July 1916): 85.

125 Letter from Mrs. F. W. O. in Pennsylvania to Dr. Wiley's Question-Box, Good Housekeeping (Sept. 1919): 98.

126 Letter from Mrs. W. D. N. in Indiana to Dr. Wiley's Question-Box, Good Housekeeping (June 1920): 88.

127 Letter from Mrs. H. R. G. in Montana to Harvey Wiley, Dr. Wiley's Question-Box,” Good Housekeeping (Dec. 1921): 78.

128 Letter from Mrs. F. A. B. in Connecticut to “Dr. Wiley's Question-Box, Good Housekeeping (May 1923): 84.

129 Lonier, Alchemy in Eden, 109–10. Wrenn, Cinderella of the New South, 82.

130 Crisco advertisement, Good Housekeeping (Jan. 1912): 20.

131 “How Crisco Was Made Possible,” advertisement, Ladies’ Home Journal (June 1912): 47.

132 “Progress in Cooking,” Crisco advertisement, Ladies' Home Journal (Sept. 1912): 59. “Revising the Nation's Cook Book!” Crisco advertisement, Ladies’ Home Journal (July 1913): 33.

133 “Crisco Makes for Better Cooking,” advertisement, Ladies Home Journal (Nov. 1919): 2; “How Crisco Was Made Possible,” advertisement, Ladies’ Home Journal (June 1912): 47; “The Rich Solid Cream of the Oil,” Crisco advertisement, Ladies’ Home Journal (Nov. 1913): 53.

134 Mrs. W. W. Vaughn, “A Few Cooking Suggestions,” recipe leaflet (Cincinnati, OH: Procter & Gamble, ca. 1912), Sliker Collection.

135 Crisco Advertisement, Good Housekeeping (July 1916): 15. Crisco Advertisement, Good Housekeeping (Jan. 1917): 13.

136 Crisco Advertisement, Good Housekeeping (Jan. 1917): 13. Neil, Calendar of Dinners, 8th ed., 14.

137 Crisco advertisement, Good Housekeeping (July 1916): 15.

138 “Foods–Wholesome Delicate and Dainty,” Crisco advertisement, Good Housekeeping (Feb. 1912): 15.

139 Crisco advertisement, Ladies’ Home Journal (Mar. 1913): 49. Crisco advertisement, Good Housekeeping (Jan. 1919): 7.

140 For example, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, breakfast cereal manufacturers argued that “only industrial production could make natural food.” Kideckel, Michael S., “Anti-Intellectualism and Natural Food: The Shared Language of Industry and Activists in America since 1830,” Gastronomica 18:1 (Spring 2018): 47.

141 For example, Crisco's factory processing “freed [it] from every possible impurity.” “Why Don't You Use Crisco?” advertisement, Good Housekeeping (Sept. 1916): 13.

142 “The Rich Solid Cream of the Oil,” Crisco advertisement, Ladies' Home Journal (Nov. 1913): 53.

143 Smith-Howard, Kendra, Pure and Modern Milk: An Environmental History since 1900 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). Kideckel, “Anti-Intellectualism and Natural Food.”

144 Proctor, Robert N., “Agnotology: A Missing Term to Describe the Cultural Production of Ignorance (and Its Study),” Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance, eds. Proctor, Robert N. and Schiebinger, Londa (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2008), 2.

145 Proctor, “Agnotology,” Agnotology, 3.

146 Neil, Calendar of Dinners, 8th ed., 13, Sliker Collection. “Why Don't You Use Crisco?” advertisement, Good Housekeeping (Sept. 1916): 13.

147 Terri Lonier suggests that Crisco's launch may have marked “a culinary breaking point in American culture, when scientific labs began to construct food and the line between food and product began to dissolve.” Emphasis original. Lonier, Alchemy in Eden, 169.

148 Emily E. LB. Twarog documents the vigilance and activism exercised by some consumers to ensure that they could buy pure food. Twarog, Politics of the Pantry: Housewives, Food, and Consumer Protest in Twentieth-Century America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017). Lonier, “Alchemy in Eden,” 701.

149 Koehn, Brand New.

150 Strasser, Satisfaction Guaranteed, 11.

151 “Foods—Wholesome Delicate and Dainty,” Crisco advertisement, Ladies’ Home Journal (Feb. 1912): 51.

152 Crisco Advertisement, Good Housekeeping (Jan.1917): 13.

153 Emphasis original. “Why Don't You Use Crisco?” Good Housekeeping (Sept. 1916): 13.

154 Helen Zoe Veit, “American Food, Cooking, and Nutrition, 1900–1945,” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, 2018, https://americanhistory.oxfordre.com.

155 “How Crisco Was Made Possible,” Crisco advertisement, Ladies’ Home Journal (June 1912): 47.

156 Cooper, “Cotton Crisis,” 388.

157 Coclanis, Peter A., “Seeds of Reform: David R. Coker, Premium Cotton, and the Campaign to Modernize the Rural South,” The South Carolina Historical Magazine 102:3 (July 2001): 206; Wrenn, Cinderella of the New South, xvi–xvii. Cooper, “Cotton Crisis,” 387.

158 “Cottonseed Second as Southern Cash Crop,” The Tuscaloosa News, Dec. 23, 1937, 1.

159 Quoted from The Atlanta Constitution, Sept. 24, 1905, in Ransom, The Great Cottonseed Industry of the South, 63.

160 As of 2015, 90 million gallons of cottonseed oil a year were used in human food. “USDA Coexistence Fact Sheet: Cotton” (Feb. 2015): 1, USDA, Office of Communications, Washington, DC.

161 “Cotton,” rev. Sept. 2017, Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, https://agmrc.org. Data for the year 2016. “Consumption of edible oils in the United States in 2016, by type,” Statista: The Statistics Portal.

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