My great grandmother lived to be 99 years old. When she passed away, she still lived on her own, drove her own car and was totally independent. She was one of the most inspiring woman I ever knew. She outlived 2 husbands, raised 3 of her own children and 5 step children. She was a wonderful cook and she could and did make just about anything in the kitchen…including mayonnaise.
My mother still tells the story, now about 20 years later, of how impressed and shocked she was to learn that someone could actually make their own mayo. I don’t recall all the details exactly, as I was a teenager at the time, but I can imagine it went something like this: We were visiting grandma at her home in Illinois. As grandma was preparing potato salad for a meal, she realized that she was out of mayonnaise. I’m sure my mother probably offered to run to the store to get some. I can just see my grandmother give her trademark smirk, roll her eyes and calmly reply “Don’t be silly. I’ll just make some”. Until that point in time, my mother, nor I had ever heard of anyone MAKING mayo. That’s just something you buy at the store of course. But as I look at my grandmother’s life, in 99 years she certainly collected so many valuable experiences and skills that are sadly being lost in our age of convince these days. I now wish I could tap into her as a resource as I try to get our family back to a cleaner way of living. But thankfully she did pass on a wealth of skills and information to her daughter, my grandmother, who I can rely on to mentor me on this journey.
For over 20 years, I have held on to the knowledge that mayonnaise could be made at home, however, I’ve never had a desire to do so…until now!
So, why now? Why would I wish to make my own mayonnaise when I can buy a 64 oz jar at Costco for under $7 that will last in my fridge for months?
The answer lies in three letters: GMO
I had been living under a rock until recently. I had no idea that the corn I was eating was not the corn that God had created. I had no idea that there was DNA of bacteria, viruses and other totally unrelated life forms gene spliced into the seeds of my food before it is even grown. I had no idea that the same company that developed DDT, Agent Orange and RoundUp was in the seed business.
Well, now that I’ve seen the light since crawling out from under my rock, I see things a lot differently. And once again, I can be thankful for the Hidden Blessings In Our “Bad Kid” for cluing me into the existence of genetically modified organisms.
Let me now walk you through my new thought process when it comes to selecting food for my family.
When I see any of the following ingredients listed, alarms go off in my head: corn, soybeans, canola, cottonseed, sugar beets, and papaya.
If I see any of those (including oils or other derivatives of them), I then look for the word organic immediately preceding that ingredient or a “NON GMO Verified” label on the packaging. I will often go as far as to look on the company’s website to see if I can find their stance on GMO crops.
If I don’t find anything assuring me that it’s free of GMOs, I’m gonna try to avoid, minimize or eliminate it from our home.
So, in the case of mayonnaise, the number one ingredient on the Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise is soy bean oil. BEEP!!!, BEEP!!!, BEEP!!! That’s the alarm going off in my head.
All I see boasted on their label is 100% cage free eggs. While that’s great…but for my well being, I’m more concerned with the soybeans that I will be consuming. (Not to mention what the chickens are eating that lay those eggs…likely GMO feed)
So, I then go to the Hellman’s (Unilever) website to find their stance on GMOs:
Biotechnology and the use of genetically modified ingredients and organisms (GMOs) are a concern to some consumers. Here we present Unilever’s position statement on genetically modified crops.
We support the responsible use of biotechnology within the framework of effective regulatory control and provision of information about its use. The use of this technology to improve food crops can bring important benefits to mankind and individual applications should be judged on their merits.
We acknowledge that the public’s view of biotechnology, such as the use of GM ingredients in foods, is still evolving and that the debate and public acceptance are at different stages in different regions of the world.
Our companies are free to use ingredients derived from genetically modified crops that have been approved by the regulatory authorities and which meet our own standards for quality and acceptability.
The decision whether or not such ingredients will be used is made at local or regional level, taking into account public perception, national legislation, availability and costs of alternatives, and attitudes of our customers, including the retail trade.
Sorry, that’s not good enough for me or my family.
While there are organic mayonnaise varieties at my local store, I’ve decided to avoid the high price product and make my own mayo because it is really so easy after all and is super delicious. Plus I can personalize it to my own tastes.
Now, you know why…here’s how.
1 teaspoon organic cane sugar or honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooking oil
In a blender or food processor, combine egg, juice from lemon, sugar and salt.
After those are combined, and while continually blending, add the oil one drop at a time until all incorporated.
You can use any kind of oil that you like…olive, sunflower, safflower, etc.
You may also wish to add 1 teaspoon crushed mustard seed and 1 teaspoon black peppercorns (shown below). I use this combo for chicken salad…yum!
I store my mayonnaise in a mason jar in the refrigerator for about a week.
It should be noted, that this is made from raw egg! I have consumed enough raw cookie dough and cake batter in my years that I have little concern for this fact for myself and my family. But you will need to personally make a decision regarding this matter according to what fits your family and immune systems.
We now have non GMO mayo in our house!