Or, Why Canola Oil is Terrible.
Here’s a commercial from the Danish butter company Lurpak. There’s a decent amount of quality butter here in the United States that easily competes with their product (like KerryGold, which is actually from grass-fed cows, unlike Lurpak), but for some reason we have this Danish brand shipped over here to charge not-so-savvy gourmets a small fortune for it.
I found this on the NPR website, which talked about how Denmark (of all places) is following in the footsteps of the U.S. and trashing butter. Lame. Lurpak makes a visually stunning commercial glorifying the beauty of vegetables, and tops it off with their new product, which is a processed veggie oil and butter blend.
Vegetable oils are cheap, and not nearly as good for you as fats that are stable at high temperatures. When companies tell you that saturated fat is bad and processed junk like “Smart Balance” is good, and you buy into it, you’re paying MORE for a product that costs far less to produce and is actually causing you serious damage over the thousands of meals you eat it in. Polyunsaturated fats are fragile and oxidize easily at higher temps. When you cook with canola oil, corn oil, or other polyunsaturated oils you’re putting cartloads of oxidized fatty acids into your body, increasing your risk of all inflammatory diseases. Not only that, but before these oils ever enter your body they’re subject to extraction processes that often render them rancid and nutritionless.
From Wikipedia: Extraction- “The ‘modern’ way of processing vegetable oil is by chemical extraction, using solvent extracts, which produces higher yields and is quicker and less expensive. The most common solvent is petroleum-derived hexane. This technique is used for most of the ‘newer’ industrial oils such as soybean and corn oils.”
So why did our government tell us for decades that butter was going to fill our arteries with food-grade concrete? How was the connection made between saturated fats and cholesterol and heart disease, when for centuries the human machine has been consuming these deadly foods and still building empires? For a few simple reasons: They were paid to. They could continue to be paid to. They like money.
Here’s an interesting piece of info about how rapeseed oil became the gigantic commodity that it is today:
“….An initial challenge for the Canola Council of Canada was the fact that rapeseed had never been given GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A change in regulation would be necessary before rapeseed could be marketed in the U.S. (The word “canola” was created from “Canadian oil low-acid” for obvious reasons people didn’t think a product with the word rape in it would fly off the shelves). Just how this was done has not been revealed, but GRAS status was granted in 1985. Why? Because the Canadian government paid the FDA the sum of $50 million to have rape registered and recognized as “safe” (Source: John Thomas, Young Again, and others). One informant in the publishing industry divulged that, since the mid 1990s, major publishers would not accept cookbooks unless they included canola in the recipes. Did those publishers issue this demand because they were receiving money under the table from the Canadian rapeseed industry?” (-find more about it here.) Here’s an article about how this guy is sure that canola and soy consumption cause macular degeneration and glaucoma, as well as mad cow disease. No kidding.
I’ve posted this video (from the movie Fat Head) before, but it’s terrific and a quick and painless way to learn about how the scientific method can often work, regarding matters like human health.
Remember to assume that if the government tells you it’s good for you, figure out why first. History shows that the why usually has everything to do with dollars, and little to nothing to do with your actual health. If you want to learn more about why I cook with butter and coconut oil, read my Fat is Fantastic blog.
Let me know what your favorite veggie plus fat recipe is. The more, the better…