Citizen Tleilax

Complaint Letter to Malt-O-Meal about Hydrogenated Oils

I’ve written many complaint letters to food companies about the ingredients they put in their products, and one of the most common problems is the use of partially hydrogenated oils, also known as “trans-fats”. I recently wrote to Malt-o-Meal, a large cereal manufacturer:

Hello, I would like to express my concern that your company still finds it acceptable to utilize hydrogenated oils in your cereals. As many people are aware these days, the hydrogenation of oils has a very negative effect upon those who consume it, and there is a significant body of research which supports this. It bothers me that a company like yours which appears to be concerned about environmental impact and being a good corporate citizen finds nothing wrong with regularly using ingredients proven to be dangerous. I implore you to take the evolutionary step that many other cereal producers have, and cease this practice. Until you do, I cannot purchase your products.

They responded, saying:

We use many different ingredients to achieve specific characteristics (flavor, aroma, texture, etc.) in our finished cereals. Unfortunately, not all of these ingredients work for each consumer’s diet.

Comments like yours regarding our products are carefully reviewed to keep us informed of consumer opinions and current issues. We understand your concern about hydrogenated oils and your feedback is being shared with our product managers.

Hydrogenation cannot work for any person’s diet, so I sent this reply:

I appreciate your quick response. In light of your reference to diet, I’d just like to further clarify that this ingredient is not like an allergen, where some can consume it and be fine while others must avoid it. Partial (and full) hydrogenation damages every human system that allows it access, and it is for this reason I hope you will remove it from your otherwise quality product.