Did You Know We Eat Petroleum?

Did you know that the federal government allows oil to be added to foods? Not the vegetable kind of oil, either – I’m talking about that oil. The oil that runs your car, lubricates machinery, and gets made into clothes and computers and cars and containers. The same oil that is made into makeup and lotion and shampoo and occasionally pet food.

Environmental concerns aside, why is anybody adding oil to foods? It’s known by its common name, mineral oil. Evidently, adding mineral oil is a very common practice in processed and prepared foods because – drum roll – mineral oil doesn’t go rancid like vegetable oil. The reason mineral oil doesn’t go rancid is because it’s not a food.

The disinformation rumor mill frequently buzzes with conspiracy theories about petroleum products causing cancer, behavior disorders, and all sorts of public health concerns. The debate centers on mineral oil used in skincare products and cosmetics. I’m neither a petroleum researcher nor a conspiracy theorist, but I don’t exactly warm to the thought of petroleum being in my food, either. I have no opinion either way about the health of using petroleum-based personal care products. But food? That ain’t right.

If you’re also not a fan of consuming the stuff that comes from a substance used to make bottles, mattresses and other household items that won’t decompose until you-know-where freezes over, then you’ll want to consider avoiding these items – or at least check the ingredients panel:

1. Candy

2. Packaged baked goods

3. Mints and breath sprays

4. Laxatives

5. Many snack foods such as chips and crackers

6. Any product with Olestra, which is an indigestible plastic similar to regular old mineral oil. (Remember anal leakage? This toxic ingredient didn’t go anywhere – the FDA simply let food makers drop the warning label. Nice.)

If you’re aware of further oil-in-food research or happen to have a handy resource available, please send it my way. (And here’s what the WHO says. And the FDA. And MS experts.)

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[tags]petrolium, oils, snack foods, candy, packaged baked goods, Olestra, mineral oil[/tags]

TAGS:  toxins

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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10 thoughts on “Did You Know We Eat Petroleum?”

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  1. Wow…lol.

    It’s not just in junk food…this petrolium stuff comes in different names, too. Words that end with benzoite (or close to that).
    Saw the documentary King Corn where high fructose corn syrup is actually made with battery acid. Yes, the battery acid that’s in your car battery!
    And there are about 20 different words for the neurotoxin MSG…including “Falvor”.
    (Documentary called The Beautiful Truth by Steve Kroschel)

    Conventional Grocery Stores make me cry.

  2. And what about water huh?? That stuff is so destructive. I mean, look at all the damage Superstorm Sandy did. That water messed up everything. Water also drowns people. It’s deadly stuff indeed! Can you believe they put it in practically everything we eat and drink? Things you wouldn’t normally think about it being in like milk, orange juice, and grapes! It’s outrageous!

    1. Yes, because water and oil have the exact same effects on our body…in fact it’s well known that over 60% of our body is mineral oil…oh wait….


  3. Thanks for your informative article on these dangerous foods in our food supply. I certainly am trying to rid our home of them. Thanks again! Sherra

    1. According to the World Health Organization, “…
      Mineral oils are of variable composition depending on the boiling
      point of the fractions used. For food purposes usually liquid
      petrolatum or liquid paraffin are employed which consist essentially
      of n-alkanes and some cyclic paraffins. They are chemically inert
      especially as regards the straight chain alkanes and on ingestion most
      of the mineral oil (98%) remains unabsorbed in the faeces. There is
      evidence now that small amounts of mineral oil (2%) are absorbed as
      such by the intestinal mucosa and are distributed throughout the body.
      A very small fraction may undergo further biochemical transformation.”
      In short…..petroleum based.

  4. Due to all the additives that are in our lives I can not use or eat any thing that has any petroleum products in it. I wash all my fruit and vegies in soap, rinse with apple cider vinegar, this includes Organic and from my own garden, since I do not know what sprays have drifted my way. My life has turned into a daily life threating battle.

  5. I’m sorry, but all of you are missing the 800 pound gorilla in the room.

    Unless you are living a totally isolated, self-sufficient life in the wilds, you are eating food that was dependent on petroleum for every stage of its life-cycle from field prep(plow the field, seeding or planting), to growth(fertilizer, herbicide, pesticide), to harvest, to shipping, to processing, to shipping to your favorite store, to taking it home from your favorite store, to cooking on your stove.

    Maybe you’re thinking that, since you only eat organic that you are not caught-up in that cycle. Wrong! There are no commercial level “Organic” producers that could possibly survive without mechanized methods even if they aren’t clients of Monsanto.

  6. So, I hate to break it to everyone, but almost all of our fruits and vegetables are coated in a petroleum byproduct now to keep them “fresher”. The product is patented by Monsanto and is even approved by the FDA for use on organic foods.