Many consumers have been wary about cooking with canola oil. Some believe there are high levels of acid toxicity in the oil; others fear that it contains the same ingredients found in lethal mustard gas. Differentiating between fact and fiction is the key.
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Canola oil's name is derived from a combination of the words Canada, which is the primary producer, and oil. Canola was originally engineered from rapeseed, a member of the mustard family. Rapeseed is considered extremely toxic.
Rapeseed contains high levels of toxic erucic acids. This ingredient could potentially cause heart lesions. After realizing the danger, Canadian producers genetically re-engineered the plant to reduce its levels of erucic acid.
A combination of high-temperature pressing and a solvent extract is often used to make Canola. In many cases, the solvent used is hexane, which can cause headaches and nausea in people.
Rapeseed, found in the original Canola oil products, is very poisonous and is actually often used as an insect repellent.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prohibits using Canola oil in baby formula, citing unknown risks to infants from ingesting the product.
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