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On Your Table Blog

May 4, 2018

Busting myths

The 411 on canola

Busting myths

What is canola used for?

Canola meal is used for animal feed. Canola oil is also used as an environmentally friendly biodiesel and can be used in the manufacture of ink, soaps, lipsticks, and more. It can also be used as an organic pesticide (it smothers some types of insects) Canola is also a heart-healthy cooking oil. In fact, canola oil has the least amount of saturated fat of any of the commonly used cooking oils.

What does canola look like?

In the flowering stage, canola is a bright yellow. Bees love canola plants.

Watch a video about the bee-yoo-tiful partnership between bees and canola in North Dakota:

According to the Alberta Canola Producers Commission, canola is a cool season crop. It grows particularly well on the prairies, where cool nights and hot days allow it to develop its unique fatty acid profile. That's what makes it a very popular crop in North Dakota and Canada. Canola was bred from rapeseed (which has a much higher erucic acid content) in Canada.

Canola is part of the same plant family mustard broccoli and cauliflower.

Once pods form, the plant looks like a skinny bean.

I read canola oil causes Alzheimer’s

According to Professor Kevin M. Folta, the media misinterpreted a scientific, peer reviewed report. Read his post "Science illiteracy strikes again" on Medium. 

Don’t they use bad chemicals to extract the oil from canola?

Soybean, canola, palm and corn oils all are produced by crushing the plant material to express the oil, then using a solvent, usually hexane to extract the remained of the oil. Read all about the extraction and safety of this process by reading this: Ask the Expert: Concerns about canola oil.

What should I know about canola oil when cooking?

Canola oil doesn’t solidify in the refrigerator, which makes it a good base for salad dressings (and marinades)

You can store canola oil for up to a year.

It is low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat. It also contains omega-3s.

It is a heart-healthy oil. Read the research.