White shortening is a type of lard or fat that is created using vegetable oils. Common oils that are used in making shortening include cottonseed and soybean oil.
Shortening is a solid that can be stored at room temperature; when stored in a sealed container, it can be kept for up to a year. Shortening does not contain much flavor and is commonly used in baking. Since it has a higher smoke point than margarine or butter, it is ideal for use when cooking foods at high temperatures.
A popular brand of white shortening is Crisco. Shortening does have a high fat content, but low-fat versions are offered by some brands.