5/2/13

Canola Oil and the Creationist


Looks innocent enough, doesn't it? Bright and sunny and full of beauty. But give him an hour and he will pull out every toy we own, flood the bathroom, break a dozen eggs on the ground, empty a bottle of shampoo, eat an entire bag of "hidden"chocolate chips, and prance around the living room in a tinkerbell costume. Oh, wait! I was actually talking about that field of beautiful flowers. They are all over the fields not far from my house and are absolutely breathtaking. We commented on that to some old timers and were told that they are "Kan-oh-lah." Rapeseed, actually, but who likes to think about that?

As with most foods these days, there is conflicting research when it comes to canola oil. One school of thought is that because it is relatively new (introduced in the 80's), it is unproven and we are, in essence, one big science experiment.

(But my kids were not introduced until 1999 and they are good for my health...mostly).

Others say that fears about canola are unfounded. It is a healthy oil, free of saturated fats and is life changing. The other says it is true poison and should never be consumed as it is rancid and will cause oxidation in the body, leading to cancer and heart disease. One group says it will save us from heart disease, the other says it is the main cause. Sheesh! Blah, Blah blah! I have read so much about the subject that it makes my mind numb. I had to call my older sister the other day and ask her,

 "Why don't we eat canola again?"
Oh yeah! "Because the Internet tells us not to!"

But plenty of articles say we should--even snopes! They tell my kids at school that it is healthy. So how the heck do I know who to believe? For one, I look at who is behind which research results. Interestingly enough, the same "experts" that tout the benefits of canola also say that diet soda is fine in moderation and that if the FDA says it is safe to eat, it must be. Well, I for one don't have a whole lot of faith in the FDA. They allow us and our children to eat all kinds of food-like substances that our bodies don't recognize and that have long since been banned in other countries. But barring all the controversy on both sides of the fence, I do not care what the studies for either side say. I believe in this:  If I can not make it myself, it is not for me!  If you could press the oil right out of those beautiful, sweet smelling petals, then that would be a different story. But you can't. It takes a lab and a lot of heat, and lots of heat usually leaves things lifeless and useless. Olive oil comes from olives, butter from cream, tallow from beef fat, lard from pig. All can be made by my very own self on my very own farm. I don't trust many foods that can't be made in my kitchen. So, for me, canola is a no brainer.

So, can a creationist promote the use of Canola oil?  Not this one!

Step two: Get that canola oil out of the house! Replace it with butter, lard (not the hydrogenated kind), palm shortening, beef tallow, or coconut oil.
If you missed step one: Read it Here!

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26 comments:

  1. The FDA...silly silly organization.

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  2. I can't believe what I have been learning. I quit buying canola and am using natural oils and fats. Love your comment about not being able to make this at home.

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  3. I have been forced to avoid canola oil, as I have recently developed an allergy to it. Even a miniscule amount sends me to the bathroom in agony within 30 minutes, with splitting headaches the next day. I didn't realize how many foods have canola oil "hiding" in them - including one of some baby food!

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    1. Wow! I kinda wish that every food that was bad for us would leave such a reaction. It would be a lot easier to know for sure. I, too can't believe the places it hides. The one that makes me angriest is nuts! Can't find cashews or peanuts without it as an ingredient...unless you buy raw which is harder to find and afford!

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  4. I am just learning about not using canola oil. Can you tell me, if I have a recipe for brownies, bread, etc that calls for a cup of oil (just for example), what do you use in it's place? Do you melt lard to equal a cup, or melt butter to equal a cup? Thanks for your help!

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    1. Yes! You can sub 1 cup of any oil in pace of canola. I use butter in my brownies and bread. I use butter or palm shortening or coconut oil (usually a mix of all three) in cookies and quick breads or muffins. I use coconut oil or palm shortening for any fried foods. Obviously all of these options are a bit pricey. But that just keeps us from making these types of treats too often...which is better on my waiteline in the end! I don't have a good source for lard or tallow, so I haven't cooked with those yet. Stay tuned for a post with more detail on how to use healthy oils. :)

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    2. Thank you for your help! I will try these. I recently made my own lard from the pig that we bought, so I will try that, too. :-) Thanks!

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  5. What???? I didn't know this! My husband's cardiologist TOLD me to cook with canola oil! Holy canoli, guess I'll have to do some more research on this. I agree, however, that if you can't make it at home it probably shouldn't be eaten! Thanks for the information.

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    1. A lot of folks are told by doctors to use canola because it is a poly-unsaturated fat. But doctors are not nutritionists and certainly not great examples of healty eaing practices! Certianly do your research, but from what I have read and studied, saturated fats are not responsible for heart disease. The major contributer to heart disease is stress, and trans fats..which is what you get when you heat canola. This is philosopy of me...one who thinks we should eat food as close to as God created it...so take it for what it is. I am certainly no expert! Good luck in your quest, and especially for your husbands heart health!

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    2. Do you have a source for the claim that canola oil becomes trans fat when heated? My understanding is that trans fats are made by hydrogenation, not heating.

      I agree with the idea that we should eat oils that could be extracted (a) from substances that are foods (b) by a low-tech process that one could do at home instead of massive engineering. I don't go out of my way to avoid canola oil in foods, but I no longer buy it for cooking; I use olive and coconut oils and butter.

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    3. I have read about the trans-fats several places. The first was in Bruce Fife's book: Eat fat, look thin. (great read) and since then on several other blogs--assuming their info is correct. (http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/selecting-a-healthy-cooking-oil-and-reusing-it-safely/) This was my understanding of what happens when the oils are heated to such a high temperature.

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    4. Um, at that link the only mention of trans fat is where she says that an oil is not safe just because it is marked "trans fat free". She talks about how heating oil past the smokepoint creates free radicals, but that's a completely separate issue.

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  6. The topic of healthy food is certainly a fickle one, eh? My Naturopathic doctor recommended canola oil in 2009, and now does NOT. Now she says, coconut oil or olive oil. I remember when coconut oil was taboo, and was known as the cheap, unhealthy oil. Lately, I've even heard that palm shortening is not only harmful but is killing off orangutans! Well, if I could copy & paste an article I just now read, I would share that apparently those claims are untrue. phew! I use organic palm shortening, butter, and coconut oil. A person sure has to be vigilant when it comes to figuring out what is healthy food. I tend to agree with your idea of if you could make it at home, it's okay. I also like the idea of the healthiest foods are those as God created them and not out of a factory, even the most organic brands of cookies are not as good as eating a fresh fruit or vegetable!

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  7. I found this post to be very interesting & helpful. Here I thought canola was the "healthy" way to go. Thank you for sharing this. I was your neighbor at Titus 2 Tuesday. Grateful!

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  8. Well, this is definitely something to ponder and read up on :-)

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  9. Thank you so much for spreading the word about canola. We live in Spain, and my wildflower-laden garden is covered in rapeseed plants, as is much of central Spain this time of year. Yet, why can't you find canola oil on supermarket shelves? Because in Europe, it is used as a MACHINE LUBRICANT!

    My sister's daughter has CF and has a hard time gaining weight. Since the age of 1, her doctors at Children's Hospital in Boston have told my sister to mix canola oil into all her foods for extra nutrients. When I found out, I could not believe it and told her how canola was processed (she, of course, had no idea).

    Yes, olive oil is more expensive, but it is a natural, tree-ripened fruit that is simply pressed and has been in our diet for thousands of years. How can you beat that?

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  10. Searching out what is behind 'foods' is a constant battle.

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  11. Very good research and reasoning. Thanks for sharing and spreading the word. It is nice to have found you. Stop by if you have a minute.

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  12. I definitely agree that if you can't make it yourself, you probably shouldn't be ingesting it! Unfortunately, with the internet comes so much info (too much often!) that people can get so confused. Thanks for your simple and straight-forward view.
    Jamie H at coffeewithus3.blogspot.com

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  13. I had no idea about Canola Oil. I don't use it, so it is not a problem here, but I am probably getting in food cooked outside the house. I love the idea that if you can't make it, don't eat it. Thanks so much for sharing with Wednesday's Adorned From Above Blog Hop.
    Have a great week.
    Debi and Charly
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com

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  14. I have to find the right replacement for canola oil in things like brownies. Any suggestion for a one to one replacement? Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Greens!

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  15. I use butter in all my sweet treats. Same amount. In cakes, coconut oil may work better, but for cookies or brownies, butter is the best. Palm shortening is also a good substitute. :)

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  16. My cousins in Saskatchewan grow the largest amounts of Canola on the planet. I happen to know they're proud to use Monsanto's Round up Ready seeds. That right there points to a problem with Canola.

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  17. I too love that you mention if you can't make your self than nix it. Also 90% of canola oil is genetically modified. When we started using coconut oil I found out it was a saturated fat and with everyone saying it is bad for you I did some research. Turns out once again we have been lied to it is healthy for us.

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  18. I completely agree. I, too, don't trust things that I couldn't make in my own kitchen. No high fructose corn syrup for us, among other things.

    Check out my blog at:
    dreamingofperfect.weebly.com

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  19. Here in Sweden we are proud of our canola oil; the large yellow fields blooming in the summer. However we commonly use cold pressed canola oil and it becomes a lot like virgin olive oil, but with a different taste. It's grassy, nutty and has a green/yellowish colour, absolutely delicious. If you get a chance to try it you won't be disappointed.

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