I was just listening to an old-ish (a week ago) episode of KRCW’s Good Food, an LA-based radio show where the host, Evan Kleiman, usually just fawns over her guests, often selling their products for them if they forget to say it’s delicious 800 times.
But maybe she could press a little more when she has a corporate rep on her show? She had someone from Oreo (it’s their 100th anniversary) and she went through some pretty non-offensive questions until she got to this:
Evan Kleiman: Have the ingredients changed over the years or the recipe been tweaked?
Oreo flack: There have been slight changes over time to the absolute ingredient line, but it’s really the experience of eating an Oreo, the experience of that moment of child-like delight that only comes from a twist, lick, and dunk and even better if you share it with a grandparent, a friend. It’s the experience that’s been consistent.
Seriously, someone dodged a question on Good Food and responded with new-agey marketing BS instead of a direct answer to a direct question. It’s a cookie, not a way of life, for those of us outside the world of marketing.
I looked up Oreo’s ingredients to see what might have changed. I found two things on the ingredient list that probably weren’t there in 1912:
- High fructose corn syrup, the artificial sweetener with plenty of calories. It was invented in 1957 and started being used on a massive scale in the 80’s, so that’s clearly one of the changes.
- “HIGH OLEIC CANOLA OIL AND/OR PALM OIL AND/OR CANOLA OIL, AND/OR SOYBEAN OIL, COCOA (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI),[…] CORNSTARCH,[…] SOY LECITHIN” instead of cream. Actually, there’s no dairy in an Oreo cookie – just processed, thickened, and sweetened oil – which the marketing flack kept on referring to as “cream.”
A simple, “No, really, what ingredients have changed?” would have been a nice follow-up. Even better would have been some research and a “Then high fructose corn syrup was used in 1912?” or “You keep on referring to cream, but there’s no dairy in an Oreo. Was it like that in 1912?”