I used to be a canola oil girl. I believed it was a healthy choice for a cooking oil, and even recommended using it all over my cookbook. Now I know better.
As I live and learn and mature, I reserve the right to change my mind as new information comes to light. Such is the case when it comes to canola oil.
In the 1980s and 90s, we were treated to a massive publicity campaign regarding the health benefits of canola oil, and I, for one, bought into it hook, line, and sinker. This campaign was somehow connected to the National Institutes of Health’s release of a bunch of studies correlating heart disease with cholesterol levels, and we were told over and over that canola oil was a “heart-healthy” cooking oil.
Now, the findings from those 1980s-era studies are in dispute, and we are learning the truth about canola oil.
Canola oil is made from a variety of rapeseed hybridized in the 1970s by the Canadian Oil Company and named “canola” for “Canadian Oil, low acid”. In 1995, the company introduced Genetically Modified canola seeds. By 2011, 96% of the canola grown was GMO canola. Since GMOs don’t have to be labeled, you simply must assume that every time you see canola oil by itself or as an ingredient in a packaged food, it is a GMO.
Why should you care that your cooking oil is GMO? As I’ve been talking about on this blog, and you can see in films such as Genetic Roulette, GMO crops cause harm to the human body, the farmland and the farmers, and to the environment. In humans, GMO effects may range from tumors to infertility to leaky-gut diseases (autoimmune disorders, migraines, chronic fatigue, etc.). Once Genetically Modified canola is planted, all the surrounding crops are in danger of cross-pollination, even the non-canola crops.
We have been unwittingly made part of the largest experiment on the public health in history, and in time the effects will be catastrophic. The only way to opt out of this science nightmare is to avoid GMOs by buying organic and looking for the Non-GMO Project seal.