Sunday, May 26, 2013

Canola: Forgive me while I laugh

The health freaks love canola:  Here's why:

"Canola oil is low in saturated fat and contains both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in a ratio of 2:1. If consumed, it also reduces Low-density lipoprotein and overall cholesterol levels, and as a significant source of the essential omega-3 fatty acid is associated with reduced all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. It is recognized by many health professional organizations including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and American Heart Association. Canola oil has been given a qualified health claim from the United States Food and Drug Administration due to its high levels of cholesterol-lowering fats."  -- Wikipedia

But I wonder how many know that Canola is a genetically modified version of rapeseed invented in Canada  (hence the Can in Canola) only a few years back?  And what about how the crop is processed before it gets to your dinner table?

"Canola oil is made at a processing facility by slightly heating and then crushing the seed. Almost all commercial grade canola oil is then refined using hexane. Finally, the crude oil is refined using water precipitation and organic acid, "bleaching" with clay, and deodorizing using steam distillation.  Approximately 43% of a seed is oil." -- Wikipedia

And what is that dreaded hexane?

It's a CHEMICAL!   "Hexanes are significant constituents of gasoline. They are all colorless liquids at room temperature, with boiling points between 50 and 70 øC, with gasoline-like odor. They are widely used as cheap, relatively safe, largely unreactive, and easily evaporated non-polar solvents."

So canola  gets mixed with a type of gasoline before it gets to your table!  It must be very pesky being a food knowall  -- JR

EU drops olive oil jug ban after public outcry

A European Union ban on the use of unmarked olive oil jugs on restaurant tables has been dropped following a public outcry across Europe.

The climb down overrides an EU decision last week requiring that olive oil "presented at a restaurant table" must be in factory packaged bottles with a tamper-proof "hygienic" nozzle and printed labelling in line with Brussels standards.

In a humiliating U-turn, Dacian Ciolos, the European commissioner for agriculture, admitted that the proposed ban on traditional olive oil jugs, had provoked popular loathing, or "misunderstanding", from the people that he said wanted to protect for their own good.

"It was a measure intended to help consumers, to protect and inform them but it is clear that it cannot attract consumer support," he said.

"As a consequence, I am withdrawing the proposition. I wanted to come here today to demonstrate that I've been very alive to the current debate in the press."

Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, welcomed the U-turn but still faces questions over why the Government did not oppose the ban in Brussels negotiations over the ban last week.

"I'm glad the commission has seen sense and backed down on these arbitrary rules. They would have interfered with businesses, imposed unnecessary costs and taken choice away from consumers. Common sense has prevailed," he said.

The ban on the use of jugs, cruets or bowls to serve olive oil was justified as necessary because of alleged "frequent" fraud in restaurants but commission officials have admitted to The Daily Telegraph that they have no evidence of the practice.

"We don't have any evidence. It is anecdotal and that was enough for the committee," said an official.

The decision has highlighted the bizarre system of Brussels regulation, known as "comitology", where binding legislation is automatically passed into law despite not having majority support among EU countries.

The outlawing of the classic, refillable glass Aceitera jugs or glazed terracotta dipping bowls led to a public outcry and many restaurateurs protested that it would end their freedom to buy olive oil from a small artisan producer or family business in favour of industrial products.

"The criticism was universal and came from consumers and restaurant owner in all EU countries," said the official.

The ban was dropped after hostile press coverage, thousands of complaints from across the EU and criticism from Holland and Germany led Jose Manuel Barroso, the commission president, whose father was a small artisanal olive oil producer, to intervene.


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