Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Canola Oil - Is it Safe?

On the question, “What is canola oil?”

“Canola is not rapeseed. It looks the same on the outside but it’s different on the inside. In the late 1960s, plant scientists used traditional plant breeding methods (emphasis added) to get rid of rapeseed’s undesirable qualities – erucic acid and glucosinolates. That means canola oil and meal are different from rapeseed oil and meal.”

On the question, “Does canola oil contain cyanide?”

“No, canola does not contain cyanide. Canola contains compounds that sound a little like that - isothiocyanates, compounds found naturally in many foods, especially in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, turnips and canola. Isothiocyanates are sulphur-containing compounds that have anti-cancer properties. In rats and mice, isothiocyanates inhibit the development of tumors in esophagus, mammary and lung tissue. Isothiocyanates appear to act by interfering with the metabolism of cancer agents and increasing their removal from the body. The cancer-fighting properties of cabbage, cauliflower and the other members of the mustard family are likely due to their isothiocyanate content.”

On the question, “Are canola oil and rapeseed oil poisonous to living things?”

“No. Canola oil has been thoroughly tested and is guaranteed safe and beneficial for humans.Hydrogenated rapeseed oil is also safe and is in fact approved by Canadian and US food regulatory agencies for use as a food product emulsifier. When rapeseed oil is fully hydrogenated, its erucic acid becomes behenic acid; a natural saturated fatty acid found in peanuts and peanut butter. Some peanut butter brands contain very small amounts of hydrogenated rapeseed oil to prevent the peanut oil from separating from the peanut butter.”

Source: http://www.inlightimes.com/archives/2007/01/canola-oil.htm

Caution: Cooking at extremely high temperatures, especially temperatures above the smoke point, with most any type of oil can create a large amount of smoke which can be dangerous to your health if breathed. When cooking with any type of oil at high temperatures, it should be done in a well ventilated area in order to avoid the dangers of inhaling smoke.

On the myth of canola oil being dangerous: http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/canola.asp

As in all things, you should make your own decisions about what you do or do not consider a safe practice.

I continue to eat peanut butter,broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower and consider canola oil a safe product to use. After doing your own research, you should make your own decisions.

Staying above the water line!



Patricia said...

Hmmmmm. Okay. At least it sounds good, RW. One thing I always say to folks is "I could be wrong." And I've been wrong before. So, I'll do some more research and see what I think after that.

riverwalker said...

To: patricia

Most people aren't even aware of some of these things. I'm glad you brought the subject up. Many people did not even make a comment about this - only you did. I commend you for this.

Many people aren't aware that "hydrogenated" rapeseed oil is used as an emulsifier in so many of the food products out there. All the more reason to grow your own if possible. I detest the modification of so many plants so that they are tolerant of herbicides and pesticides that are being used by so many farmers and agricultural conglomerates.

Unrefined rapeseed oil is NOT a safe product though as it is basically an industrial lubricant.

Our only saving grace is that synthetically manufactured oils have replaced the use of many of our natural food products for this type of use.

Unfortunately, there are those out there that are still pushing ethanol products and biodiesel products without realizing the true cost of what they are doing.

Even after you do some more research of your own, you may decide for your own peace of mind to avoid the use of canola oil and I understand this. I feel comfortable with the research I have done. Thanks for giving attention to this.



BTW, the one wild plant that I don't eat is mushrooms. The more research I do the less I feel I know about them. Until or unless I have a chance to do some "hands on" training with someone very knowledgable in wild mushrooms - I will have to pass on them.

Staying Alive said...

Butter, Lard, and Olive Oil. Screw the rest.


Patricia said...

Hey RW,

Research is important, but you are obviously both educated and wise in your suggestions and use of the oils.

I too avoid mushrooms. I had a doctor for many years who was also a mushroom expert. He got called to be an expert witness at many trials and inquests. He told me never to eat a mushroom I wasn't absolutely positive was safe. I'd go morel hunting with someone from here who knows how and I'd go with a real guide, but books are not enough for me when it comes to 'shrooms.
Onwards, and thanks,

riverwalker said...

To: Michael

Tellin' it like it is as usual!


riverwalker said...

To: Patricia

Glad to know I'm not the only one out there that is being careful when it comes to mushrooms.Thanks.


treesong said...

Appreciate your comments and background info. However, for my peace of mind I stick to butter almost exclusively. Straight from the Amish farm when possible. Using any product that has emulsifiers/thickeners is another thing I'm slowly eliminating. Mushrooms aren't even a consideration as I'm allergic to them. Thanks again, Treesong

riverwalker said...

To: treesong

Butter is a good thing!
Butter gets my vote also.


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