Ingredient Glossary - Canola Oil Expeller Pressed Non GMO

Canola is an oilseed crop which is grown primarily in regions of Western Canada. Each canola plant produces yellow flowers which, in turn, produce pods, similar in shape to pea pods but about 1/5th the size. Within the pods are tiny round seeds that are crushed to obtain canola oil. Each seed contains approximately 40 per cent oil. The remainder of the seed is processed into canola meal which is used as a high protein livestock feed. Nutrition experts recognize canola oil as having the best fatty acid ratio. Research indicates the fatty acid composition of canola oil is most favourable in terms of health benefits and as part of a nutritionally balanced diet. Expeller pressed oil is oil extracted from nuts or seeds by crushing them. This is different than many types of oil extraction methods. Many companies first make expeller pressed oil and then treat the oil with chemicals like Hexane to extract the remaining oil from the source. Usually expeller pressed oil only can get about 66% of the oil from the nuts or seeds, so yield of oil is lower. However, some natural foods companies feel that it is better to have a lower yield than to chemically treat the seeds. They are concerned that expeller pressed oil treated with chemicals might leave residuals of the chemicals in the oil. Expeller pressed oil is generally more expensive, but many companies that solely produce expeller pressed oil feel that the quality is better and healthier. Expeller pressed oil also is likely to be more expensive because the pressing process takes more work. Though most frequently the pressing is done by machine, machines take extra power to do their work. Chemical treatment of nuts and seeds is cheaper, yields more oil, and uses less machine and people power. It is verifiable that hexane in great quantities can be very dangerous. When inhaled it is can cause sleepiness, nausea, and headaches. Chronic hexane inhalation may result in cramping and muscle weakness. Muscles may also deteriorate. These effects will steadily decline after exposure to hexane ends. But in inhaled form, it is most definitely a toxin that affects the central nervous system. When expeller pressed oil, or any oil source is treated with hexane, it is also heated. This kills off the majority of the hexane. It is unclear whether trace amounts, if any, still exist in the oil after heating. It is also unclear whether tiny amounts of ingested hexane have health risks. If there are small amounts of hexane in oil, it could become an inhalant if the oil is cooked. So people who do a large amount of cooking with oil, like frying food everyday, might possibly be inhaling very small amounts of hexane. To reduce risk it would make sense to use expeller pressed oil to avoid this risk, minimal though it may be. If one is having trouble locating expeller pressed oil at local grocery stores, consider asking for the store to carry it. As well, try natural foods and health food stores as they are more likely to carry expeller pressed oil. There are numerous large companies that now use expeller pressed oil methods. Thus it should not be too difficult to find. source: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-expeller-pressed-oil.htm Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food are a growing concern for a number of consumers who are worried about the impact that GMOs may have on their health. As a result, many companies in the late 1990s began to apply the GMO free label, indicating that their food does not contain GMOs. The labeling movement took off, especially at the beginning of the 21st century, when consumers became much more educated about GMOs, the companies that produce them, and the choice of eating GMO free. A number of nations legislate labeling, and in Europe, food must be labeled to indicate whether or not it contains GMOs. In the United States, however, GMO free labeling is purely voluntary and not regulated by any governmental body or organization. For this reason, the validity of the label was questioned, and numerous organizations began pressuring the Food and Drug Administration, as well as the United States Department of Agriculture, to enact legislation governing food labeling in regards to GMOs in the late 1990s. As of 2006, no Federal standards for GMO free labeling existed, although several counties along the coastlines of the United States had taken matters into their own hands, either banning the growth of GMOs in their region or requiring more informative labeling. It is the hope of many food activists that the GMO free label will be standardized, so that consumers can be assured about the GMO content of products they purchase. Most consumers have foods containing GMOs in their home. Corn and soy beans are both heavily modified, and it is quite difficult to find examples of these crops that have not been modified. This is partly due to the widespread practice of GMO cultivation, and partly because of seed drift, causing neighboring fields to become contaminated with GMO crops. The harmful nature of GMOs has been questioned, especially by commercial agriculture producers and seed providers, and no scientific evidence has been provided to suggest that genetic modification of crops is harmful to humans. However, many consumers feel a visceral reaction to the thought of eating food that has been genetically modified and would prefer to be able to make conscious choices about what they eat. A GMO free label suggests to the consumer that the food he or she is eating is not the result of modified seeds. It has been shown that GMOs may be harmful to agriculture, with cloned genetically modified species harming overall biological diversity and corrupting once normal crops. This is especially true in the case of corn, where GMO contamination became a major issue in the 1990s. In addition, many GMOs are indirectly environmentally harmful, because they are designed to be resistant to herbicides and pesticides, which are applied in dangerous amounts to genetically modified crops. The GMO free label is a natural next step in the evolving relationship humans have with food. In the 20th century, a growing number of individuals became concerned about the sustainability and source of their food and started to promote healthy purchasing and eating practices. Purchasing GMO free food is a vote for genetic diversity and healthier food. source: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-does-gmo-free-mean.htm