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Old 08-04-2006, 12:22 AM   #1
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Is Canola Oil Dangerous?

http://www.aspartame.ca/page_oho3.htm

while researching cooking oils, i came across this site.

i had no idea that canola oil was produced in this way.

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Old 08-04-2006, 01:38 AM   #2
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This reminds me of something my Dad used to say ... "A little science is a dangerous thing." This site is obviously pro coconut/tropical/nut oils and depends largely on ignorance to make their point. Okay - some of what they say I might agree with ... if stated in another way.

Example 1 - Toxins: There are a lot of foods that we consume on a daily basis that contain some levels of toxins. If vegetarins were presented with just a raw list of all the toxins in fruits and vegetables (without further explanation) - we would have no more vegans! And us carnavours would no longer have side dishes of vegetables.

Example 2 - Plastic Isomers in Canola Oil: While part of this is true ... let's drop the other shoe .... ALL fats contain plastic isomers to one degree or another. Do they polymerize into plastic in cooking or in our system? Not they way they are alluding to. Depending on the plastic (polycarbonate is immune do to it's chemical structure) but take something like a typical soft plastic bowl and put some pasta sauce (made with oilive oil and natural meat fats) in it for 24 hours ... it is stained and greasy and you'll never get it clean no matter what you do (removing either the stain or the greasy feel). Why? The natural isomers in fat have polymerized with the plastic - they have formed a chemical bond due to their chemical structures which has nothing to do with heat as a catalyst to cause the reaction. The fat has become bonded to the surface of the plastic through a sharing of electrons - and is now a part of it.

A good example of fat polymerization under heat is when you season a cast iron skillet. A thin layer of fat is spread over a cast iron surface, heated, the heat causes polymerization of the fatty acids (they form a sheet of "plastic" which bonds to the metal surface) - a molecular change takes place where the "liquid" is expelled and the ramainder becomes a solid mass. As more layers are added - frying foods actually works like the plastic bowl ... fat is attracted to and bonds with the "plastic" layer, and over time, this bonding builds up a virtually nonstick layer of natural organic material over time that is hard as nails. Ask any cast iron aficionado about the virtues of a well seasoned cast iron skillet or pot.

I'm interested in nutrition and food science ... and whenever I see an article making misrepresentations about one thing or another I tend to have a jaundiced eye about the validity of the whole.
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Old 08-04-2006, 07:26 AM   #3
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Michael, such words of wisdom. Thanks.
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Old 08-04-2006, 09:21 AM   #4
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If you cannot sell a product on its merits, you attack the competition. Thus the attacks from the palm and coconut oil 'experts'. The internet is a perfect place to proliferate mis-information from quacks or hacks. Please be careful.

Canola oil is an excellent cooking medium.
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Old 08-04-2006, 09:30 AM   #5
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canola (canadian rape seed oil) is a mono saturated oil like olive oil, healthy. it is neutral in flavor, and takes to fairly high heat.
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Old 08-04-2006, 09:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Canola oil is an excellent cooking medium.
I agree. But I think it has to do with HOW the oil is processed. Cold pressed oils are healthier than those that go through extensive machines and heat processes.
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Old 08-04-2006, 09:44 AM   #7
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In addition to Michael's excallent explanation, if you go to Snopes.com, you'll find out that that canola oil story is an urban myth.
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Old 08-04-2006, 11:38 AM   #8
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Horse Manure!

That site demonstrates everything bad about the Internet -- there's too much hysterical nonsense passing for fact, and fools fall for it because, well, it's in black and white and "they wouldn't say it if it's not true." My sister is one of them, and sends me such garbage constantly.

One good site for checking questionable claims that come across your screen is www.snopes.com, the Urban Legends site. They conclude that the rumors concerning canola oil are false:

http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/canola.asp

Also, check the links at the end of the article.
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Old 08-04-2006, 11:42 AM   #9
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While having nothing to do with cooking, it does have to do with the validity of what's available on the internet. My personal favorite was a site I came across that purported that rheumatoid arthritis was caused by a parasite that ate your joints. Of course, it came with medicine to order to cure it.
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Old 08-04-2006, 11:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FryBoy
and fools fall for it because, well, it's in black and white and "they wouldn't say it if it's not true."
Quote:
Originally Posted by FryBoy
One good site for checking questionable claims that come across your screen is www.snopes.com, the Urban Legends site.
I find it humorous that people always say this. They say you can't trust what you read on the internet, and for proof they say to check out Snopes.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that Snopes is not right. I have never (to my knowledge) been mislead by that site and I do use it all the time, but I just find it humorous that people use an online source to prove that online sources are not valid
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