Letters to the editor, November 2001

This article was originally published in November 2001

Hydrogenated Foods

It saddens me that PCC markets food with hydrogenated oils as ingredients. The Washington Farms pies advertised in the September Sound Consumer and the Joyva halva bars sold in the deli contain partially hydrogenated oil. These processed oils contain trans-fatty acids which have been linked to higher incidences of cardiovascular disease and cancer. I understand that the responsibility for eliminating these “bad” fats from my diet ultimately rests with me, and that just by shopping at PCC or other health food stores does not free a health conscious shopper from the necessity of reading labels. However, it is because PCC (and most health food stores) still carry products that contain denatured foods that this necessity regrettably still exists. I think it is time that PCC take a stronger stand about its core values of promoting healthy living.
— David Gottner

Chuck Davies, PCC Deli Merchandiser replies:

Dear David,
Your points regarding hydrogenated oils in some of the products on PCC’s shelves is well taken. This is an issue that we have grappled with for quite some time and, no doubt, will continue to. While PCC does have fairly strict polices regarding certain ingredients and products, we do not have a firm policy on hydrogenated oils. We do our best to avoid them, but it’s not always possible.

In the case of Washington Farms pies, I have been working directly with the local producers of these pies to change their recipe to one that will use an organic, non-hydrogenated, trans-fat free product. This process takes time but is well underway. This particular line was brought in to replace a similar fruit sweetened pie line that was no longer available, but had been requested by several members.

For those customers who would prefer a pie made without hydrogenated oils, PCC does offer its own freshly baked alternative.

As far as the halvah goes, this is unfortunately a bit more complicated. Halvah is again something that we stock because of member requests. At one time, there was a “natural” halvah made without hydrogenated oils. This product is no longer available and we have been unable to source a more acceptable product to replace the Joyva brand.

PCC has been in the forefront of taking stands on many health and environmental issues and we will continue to do our best to negotiate with manufacturers and vendors to work with us to improve their standards.

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