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Canola: The shocking truth!

Canola Oil + Rapeseed Flower PhotoPeanut oil comes from peanuts, olive oil comes from olives, sunflower oil from sunflowers; but what is a canola? Canola is not the name of a plant, but a made-up word from the words “CANadian Oil Low Acid”, and more and more research tells us that this is not a product we should be messing with. Canola is a genetically engineered plant that was developed in Canada from Rapeseed.  It is extremely cheap to grow and harvest, insects won’t eat it and it is much cheaper to use for processed foods than more expensive, healthier cold pressed oils such as olive oil. According to AgriAlternatives, The Online Innovation, and Technology Magazine for Farmers, "By nature, these rapeseed oils, which have long been used to produce oils for industrial purposes, are... toxic to humans and other animals"

Here are some ugly facts about Canola Oil:

  • Canola oil is industrial oil that was never meant for human consumption.  It is used for lubricant, a base for synthetic rubber and the gloss on your magazine pages.
  • It is strongly linked to symptoms of emphysema, respiratory distress, anaemia, constipation, irritability, and blindness in animals and humans. Rape oil was widely used in animal feeds in England and Europe between 1986 and 1991, when it was discontinued.
  • Rapeseed oil is used in China for stir-frying and was found to emit cancer-causing chemicals from the smoke, leading to lung cancer, according to the Wall Street Journal (June 7, 1995).
  • It is found in many processed foods, margarine, peanut butter, breads, and almost all potato chips.
  • It has a tendency to inhibit the proper metabolism of foods and block our normal enzyme function, and so could cause destruction of the protective myelin sheath that surrounds our nerves.
  • The adverse health effects are cumulative. It has been reported that it takes 10 years before symptoms manifest.
  • Rapeseed oil is poisonous to living things and is an excellent insect repellent.
  • Allegedly Canada paid the FDA the sum of $50 million to have rape registered and recognized as "safe". (Source: Young Again and others)
Not buying it by the bottle is easy enough, but how can you avoid canola oil when it appears in so many processed foods, even those in health food stores?  Because of Canola's marketing, it is recommended by many health food experts and the health food industry sells and uses it as a ‘healthy’ alternative despite growing evidence of toxic dangers. In addition to the plant having an unpredictable GMO element, the oil is heated to over 300 degrees as part of a process to remove its extremely unpleasant odour.  Canola oil is monounsaturated, which makes it easy to promote it as similar to olive oil but cheaper. But real olive oil is not processed and doesn't contain toxic trans-fatty acids or GMOs. Canola is among the lowest of all oils in terms of essential fatty acids, and containing Omega 3 happens to be its main health benefit. At the moment, the best that can be said about Canola oil is that it is not a healthy option. At worst, it may be damaging your health.  Read your food labels carefully!

Some good oil choices are:

  • Flax Seed
  • Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Walnut Oil or Almond Oil
  • Ghee which is clarified butter (traditionally  from Indian cuisine) and it will never go rancid. Ghee can be purchased at health food stores and chain some chain grocery stores that carry organic or natural foods.
Need more advice? You can always 'ask a Naturopath' at Mr Vitamins.