Cooking Oil Spray? Updated

image of can with caution symbol
image - cooking oil spray

I must share this experience; since the dawn of spring here in the low desert area of southern California we have been inundated with wasps; they hang out at our front door and our balcony. A few weeks ago, I ran out of pesticide and without thinking of the reason why, I just reached for the generic Vegetable Oil Spray that was in one of the kitchen cabinets.

Now that I think about it this spray was no longer preventing my waffles from sticking to the waffle maker, so I thought I would find another use for it rather than to throw it away.

So I began to spray the wasps through the kitchen screen-protected window thinking it would at least chase them away. A few days later, I noticed they were building a hive on the ceiling immediately in front of my door and also in approximately the same location in front of my neighbors door, so again, I grabbed this spray and amply coated each of the little hives and noticed the following days that my uninvited friends were no longer going near their unfinished hives.

Unfinished hive

Let’s fast-forward to the reason I am troubling you with this information, last evening, Sunday, March 24, 2013, I decided to sweep and remove the debris from our balcony, when I swept the southeast corner I noticed a few of my uninvited friends flew from beneath the wood railing, apparently they were busy building a hive that would be out of view. Without giving it a second thought I quickly went to the kitchen and reached for my newly found “repellent / cooking oil spray”, thoroughly sprayed the area, replaced the top and continued to sweep the deck. Eventually, I noticed a wasp resting on a limb of one of the plants in the southwest corner, fortunately the cooking oil spray was close by so I was able to give the little critter a good coating and to my surprise this “cooking oil spray” killed the wasp in less than 30 seconds. Yes, I repeat, the cooking oil spray” killed the wasp in less than 30 seconds.

My first thought was to call my wife to the balcony to let her know what had just occurred, afterwards the logical part of me kicked in, thinking to myself “it must have smothered the little thing, but less than 30 seconds…”. No, that could not be it; I had to get a little better insight so I looked at the ingredients on the “cooking oil spray” label and could not help noting the absence of any nutritional value to this product. All of the following were listed but each of them contributed 0%:

  • total fat
  • cholesterol
  • sodium
  • potassium
  • carbs and protein

but the manufacturers did not stop there they wanted to inform us that it also contained 0% of vitamins A and C, calcium, iron and folic acid. This product was made using soybean oil but it did not contain nutrients, that would have been a clue that is may not be good for human consumption or a red flag had we bothered to read the label, but even with this discovery, I was more interested in what it did contain.

The Ingredients

The primary “cooking oil spray” ingredient is soy bean oil (I guess there is no nutrition here and I did not bother to see if it had any potentially harmful properties, so I passed this one), the second item listed was soybean lecithin, hmm, I figured this one was worth looking into, so I Goggled “soybean lecithin” and the 1st article I read provided the following information:

Soybean lecithin comes from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a “degumming” process. It is a waste product containing solvents and PESTICIDES and has a consistency ranging from a gummy fluid to a plastic solid…” read full article

Or multi-purpose oil spray?

Solvents and PESTICIDES”? Yes, “solvents and PESTICIDES”, in the “cooking oil spray”, in case you may have missed it, I am blogging about “cooking oil spray”! Yummy, solvents and pesticides, just the thing that is so-o-o desired as a condiment or that special added touch to compliment my meal and to think I was generously covering my waffle maker each day, thinking I am making HEALTHY choices (I won’t even get into the care I have taken in altering what I consume in an effort to remain healthy, free of medication for diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol).

Now it makes sense, I spray the wasp with this pesticide disguised as Cooking Oil Spray and the wasp dies in less than 30 seconds. I can’t help but wonder how long it would take for this product to ultimately cause a similar effect on me. I will NO longer use cooking sprays and most of all I will make sure that I read the labels and use my smart phone to check the ingredients that I am not familiar with.

Further research revealed that one of the products, hexane, which is / has been traditionally used to extract oils from vegetables and seeds BUT (commercial grade) hexane is also used in glues, in cleaning and degreasing products and textile manufacturing. I suggest doing a little research on this if you can stomach discovering all there is to know about this product and its uses.

We also happened to have a product purchased at what many consider to be a health foods store, 100% Extra Virgin Italian Olive Oil Spray and again the 2nd ingredient is “soybean lecithin” and it also contains 0% nutritional value, we have the receipt for this product and will return it tomorrow.

UPDATE: March 25, 2013, to prove it was not a fluke, I used the 100% Extra Virgin Italian Olive Oil Spray, which is distributed & sold exclusively by a company based in Monrovia, CA, on a wasp to make sure it was not only the generic brand that can be used as a PESTICIDE and this time the wasp died in 27 seconds. According to the labels on the cans, the ONLY ingredient these two products have in common isSOY LECITHIN“.  We are free to come to whatever conclusion we desire, but one thought I would like to leave with you, we do need to be careful and be informed about what we use when we prepare and cook our foods. By all means continue to bless your food and trust that we are protected by God but do have a role to play; be blessed my friends and live in health!

A good article to read 5 Reasons Not to use Commercial Cooking Sprays

Update: May 7, 2013

Today I used Raid Flying Insect spray to kill a fly and to my surprise, after saturating the fly with this spray, it took approximately 90 seconds for the fly to stop moving. Let’s recap it took the cooking oil spray 27 seconds to kill a wasp and Raid’s Flying Insect spray approximately 90 seconds to kill a fly. I know you may not want to believe these results, I encourage you to use your butter spray or any cooking oil spray (so far I have found they all contain “Soy Lecithin”) and compare it with an insecticide of your choice and please let us know the results. 90 seconds vs 27 seconds, cooking oil spray is the better insecticide (pesticide).

Updated: July 15, 2013
It is beyond comprehension how many products contain soy lecithin including baby food, some Girl Scout cookies, ice cream, etc.

What Are the Dangers of Soy Lecithin Ingestion?‘ | LIVESTRONG.COM


  1. Anonymous

    Hello Tim, thanks for all the information on the cooking oil's, Im done using them…:)Marjorie

  2. Tim Pettiford

    Thank you for commenting and taking the time to read this, I am looking for another wasp to use Trader Joe's Olive Oil Cooking Spray, it also contains soybean lecithin. I want to see if it has the same outcome.

  3. your big sister

    i actually read this!!! & i am GLAD i did – & glad you took the time to do the research – trying to go natural for my health too – keep in tough

  4. TandT Pettiford

    I will and thank you for taking a look at this and commenting, it means so much to have fam support!


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