I was doing some research on healthy oils for the food chapter in my book, and discovered some interesting facts about canola oil from several different websites. AgriAlternatives, the Online Innovation and Technology Magazine for Farmers, recently wrote a column on canola oil, and it was none-too flattering. It says that there is no ‘canola’ plant. Canola is a made-up word combination of ‘Canada’ and ‘oil’. The oil is actually from the seed of the rape seed plant, which is toxic to both humans and other animals. In fact, it is used as a pesticide-you can ask for it at your local nursery. The plant grows rapidly, can withstand cold temperatures, and is the cheapest oil to produce for seed. According to this website, a large payment of moola prompted the FDA to proclaim a genetically modified version safe back in 1985. Rape seed oil (Canola) has been used for decades as a lubricating oil in industry-humans avoided ingesting it. I think they were smarter than us. Canola oil becomes rancid very quickly, and rancid oils destroy vitamin E in our body. An article in the Wall Street Journal, June 7, 1995, showed that rape seed has been shown to cause lung cancer. Other side-effects of rape seed include vision problems, respiratory illness, disruption of the central nervous system, constipation, anemia, low birth weight in infants, increased incidence of heart disease and cancer, and irritability. I’m not an alarmist, but I was shocked. If insects avoid it, I think I will too.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.