A few customers have asked why we do not have Oreos Biscuits in our cookies and cream.. They say it should be a tolerate exceptions between all the organic flavours…
Therefore we felt the need to write what was behind the ingredients decision of our organic cookies and cream gelato.
Of course organic plays a big role in everything we do, we believe in it and when we can choose between organic and not organic, our choice will always be organic, but the reason why Oreo are out is not just about organic…
Oreo Cookies don’t meet the standards that Giapo sets for its ingredients. Shocked – you will be!
Now we take a journey through the ingredients list, taken directly from the manufacturers website and we read Enriched wheat flour. Enriched means that the wheat flour used was so highly processed that all the nutrients it should have had in it were ground out to the point that they needed to be added back in afterwards. Then we get to the oils; behind the names hide the facts. High Oleic Canola. Oil is more often than not a crop of genetically modified origin, as are the soybeans used to make soybean oil, and US canola oil is often a GM crop too! Not only do we not get to find out whether these oils come from genetically modified sources, we don’t get to find out whether they have been hydrogenated or not. This is very suspicious because it appears that the US regulations do not require a manufacturer to declare hydrogenation on the ingredients list, instead there is a regulation forcing the declaration of trans fat content. It is suspicious because oils do not make cookies, solid fats make cookies, hydrogenation makes an oil into a solid. Hydrogenate an oil and you can use it to make cookies, of course the makes of Oreo’s are keeping this one to themselves.
Looking a little deeper, the regulation on trans-fats is supposed to tell the consumer about the presence of hydrogenated oils because hydrogenation produces trans fats which are not present in nature (more on that in a bit). However this same regulation means that if the product contains less than 0.5g trans fat per serving it does not have to be listed. This is a loop hole used to hide trans fats, and with them whether oils have been hydrogenated or not. In New Zealand the regulation is pretty similar… and thats why we are setting up EAT SAFE, to ban these trans fats!
Hydrogenation is a real nutritional nasty; the more you know about hydrogenated fats, the nastier they become. So its time for a little biochemistry to help us know our enemy.
Oils are a source of fats, fats come in three types, their names depend on how much hydrogen has attached itself as part of the molecule. A saturated fat has no space for a hydrogen molecule to attach, a mono-unsaturated fat has one hydrogen parking space left, and a poly-unsaturated fat has quite a few hydrogen parking spaces. These are easy to spot because saturated fats are solid at room temperature, while the unsaturated ones are runny. Hydrogenating an oil takes an oil from runny to solid.
To make hydrogenated oils you need a source of Hydrogen (H2), what it is you want to hydrogenate, a catalyst, heat and pressure. The exact combination depends on which industrial process is being used, however catalysts are usually precious metals, like those found in a cars’ catalytic converter.
What happens is that hydrogen’s attach themselves in the spaces, making different fats. Traditionally the resultant combination would be high in saturated fat. Manufacturers get round this problem by using genetically modified strains (usually soy beans) that have been designed to produce oils that are lower in both saturated fats and less likely to become trans fats when processed. Trans – refers to the structure of the fat molecule and means that the molecule has a twist. When nature makes a fat it makes straight molecules, this structure is known as cis (remember this bit). A partially hydrogenated oil means that the fat molecules have not all been saturated and that there are still hydrogen parking spaces. (They very scientifically picky may claim nature has made trans fats – but one is both cis and trans at the same time and the other is in a cows stomach!)
However that is not the end of nutritional nasties found in an Oreo; they also contain the nutritional bad boy known as High Fructose Corn Syrup. This is a highly processed product that is used because it is very cheap and very sweet. If the environmentally destructive methods used to grow the corn were not enough then what it does to your body should be. Fructose of course occurs in small amount in fruits and honey; high fructose corn syrup is made from corn starch via a chemical process, the manufacturer would like you to confuse the two – dont! instead, know your foe. When you eat fructose, your treats it differently to other sugars and carbohydrates. Fructose is used to make glycogen in the liver. Glycogen is the body’s energy store and liver glycogen is the body’s reserve store, and it is a small (like a cupboard where muscles are more like a warehouse). It is used sparingly when the body needs glycogen, because although muscles store glycogen they never give it back but rather keep it all for themselves. Thing is once liver glycogen stores are full excess fructose is then stored – as fat. This individual metabolism for fructose is the reason that high fructose corn syrup is blamed to be the first cause of obesity in the USA. Dont think fructose found in fruit is bad, it is the massively concentrated amount delivered by high fructose corn syrup and other ingredients like agave that are the problem – the body was not designed to have this much at once.
Finally products high in high fructose corn syrup do not make you feel as full so you tend eat more. Make no mistake, high fructose corn syrup has no place in your food!
Add in some chemically flavoured vanilla and last of all chocolate. We don’t know whats in the chocolate, but we can bet it is the same un-wholesome stuff that goes into the rest of the cookie!
So there you have it, why Giapo does not use Oreo’s.
Instead of mindless consumption, here at Giapo we are all about great tasting food with a social conscience. We demand that our ingredients are good for you, good for the environment and good for the people that produce them – and we know that you demand this too.
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Written by Gianpaolo Grazioli and Leslie Willis.