Michelle Jones, Founder

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Blessings for Life was founded in 2000, after the birth of our 4th child. In 2001, we began another amazing journey at Better Budgeting, helping families around the world, of all faiths, save money and live a better life. 

In 2006, my mother was set to take over as editor for Blessings for Life to help with my crazy schedule. God had other plans. Within just a few short months she got a promotion.

No more tears, no more suffering. 

We could not have done this without her help and endless encouragement. And, we must carry on.

Never Give Up...

God Always Has a Plan!



"Canola Oil is Harmful to Your Health"... an Urban Legend
by Michelle Jones

I knew it, I knew it! When this email forward came to me several months ago it sure sounded convincing... but logic told me that if Canola Oil was truly this bad for us, it would have been on the 6 o'clock news and in all the news headlines!

Here's the Canola Oil email hoax...

Dear Editors:

Recently I bought a cooking oil that's new to our supermarkets, Canola Oil. I tried it because the label assured me it was lowest in "bad" fats. However, when I had used half the bottle, I concluded that the label told me surprisingly little else and I started to wonder: where does canola oil come from? Olive oil comes from olives, peanut oil from peanuts, sunflower oil from sunflowers; but what is a canola? There was nothing on the label to enlighten me, which I thought odd. So, I did some investigating on the Internet. There are plenty of official Canola sites lauding this new "wonder" oil with all its low-fat health benefits. It takes a little longer to find sites that tell the less palatable details.

Here are just a few facts everyone should know before buying anything containing canola. Canola is not the name of a natural plant but a made-up word, from the words "Canada" and "oil". Canola is a genetically engineered plant developed in Canada from the Rapeseed Plant, which is part of the mustard family of plants. According to AgriAlternatives, The Online Innovation, and Technology Magazine for Farmers, "By nature, these rapeseed oils, which have long been used to produce oils for industrial purposes, are... toxic to humans and other animals". (This, by the way, is one of the websites singing the praises of the new canola industry.)

Rapeseed oil is poisonous to living things and is an excellent insect repellent. I have been using it (in very diluted form, as per instructions) to kill the aphids on my roses for the last two years. It works very well; it suffocates them. Ask for it at your nursery. Rape is an oil that is used as a lubricant, fuel, soap and synthetic rubber base and as a illuminate for color pages in magazines. It is an industrial oil. It is not a food. Rape oil, it seems, causes emphysema, respiratory distress, anemia, constipation, irritability, and blindness in animals and humans. Rape oil was widely used in animal feeds in England and Europe between 1986 and 1991, when it was thrown out. Remember the "Mad Cow disease" scare, when millions of cattle in the UK were slaughtered in case of infecting humans? Cattle were being fed on a mixture containing material from dead sheep, and sheep suffer from a disease called "scrapie". It was thought this was how "Mad Cow" began and started to infiltrate the human chain. What is interesting is that when rape oil was removed from animal feed, 'scrapie' disappeared. We also haven't seen any further reports of "Mad Cow" since rape oil was removed from the feed. Perhaps not scientifically proven, but interesting all the same. US and Canadian farmers grow genetically engineered rapeseed and manufacturers use its oil (canola) in thousands of processed foods, with the blessings of Canadian and US government watchdog agencies. The canola supporting websites say that canola is safe to use. They admit it was developed from the rapeseed, but insist that through genetic engineering it is no longer rapeseed, but "canola" instead.

Except canola means "Canadian oil"; and the plant is still a rape plant, albeit genetically modified. The new name provides perfect cover for commercial interests wanting to make millions. Look at the ingredients list on labels. Apparently peanut oil is being replaced with rape oil. You'll find it in an alarming number of processed foods. There's more, but to conclude: rape oil was the source of the chemical warfare agent mustard gas, which was banned after blistering the lungs and skins of hundred of thousands of soldiers and civilians during W.W.I. Recent French reports indicate that it was again in use during the Gulf War.

Check products for ingredients. If the label says, "may contain the following" and lists canola oil, you know it contains canola oil because it is the cheapest oil and the Canadian government subsidizes it to industries involved in food processing.

I don't know what you'll be cooking with tonight, but I'll be using olive oil and old-fashioned butter, from a genetically unmodified cow.

Here is more information..........

Canola oil from the rape seed, referred to as the Canadian oil because Canada is mainly responsible for it being marketed in the USA. The Canadian government and industry paid our Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) $50 million dollars to have canola oil placed on the (GRAS) List, "Generally Recognized As Safe". Thus a new industry was created. Laws were enacted affecting international trade, commerce, and traditional diets. Studies with lab. animals were disastrous. Rats developed fatty degeneration of heart, kidney, adrenals, and thyroid gland. When canola oil was withdrawn from their diets, the deposits dissolved but scar tissue remained on all vital organs. No studies on humans were made before money was spent to promote Canola oil in the USA. 

Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) is a rare fatal degenerative disease caused by a build up long-chain fatty acids (c22 to c28) which destroys the myelin (protective sheath) of the nerves. Canola oil is a very long chain fatty acid oil (c22). Those who will defend canola oil say that the Chinese and Indians have used it for centuries with no effect, however it was in an unrefined form (taken from FATS THAT HEAL AND FATS THAT KILL by Udo Erasmus). My cholesterol level was 150. After a year using Canola oil I tested 260. I switched back to pure olive oil and it has taken 5 years to get it down to 160. Thus began this project to find answers since most Doctors will say that Canola oil is O.K.

My sister spilled Canola oil on a piece of fabric, after 5 pre-treatings and harsh washings, the oil spot still showed. She stopped using Canola oil, wondering what it did to our insides if it could not be removed from cloth easily. Our Father bred birds, always checking labels to insure there was no rape seed in their food. He said, "The birds will eat it, but they do not live very long.". A friend, who worked for only 9 mo. as a quality control taster at an apple-chip factory where Canola oil was used exclusively for frying, developed numerous health problems. These included loose teeth & gum disease; numb hands and feet; swollen arms and legs upon rising in the morning; extreme joint pain especially in hands, cloudy vision, constipation with stools like black marbles, hearing loss; skin tears from being bumped; lack of energy; hair loss and heart pains. It has been five years since she has worked there and still has some joint pain, gum disease, and numbness. A fellow worker, about 30 years old, who ate very little product, had a routine check up and found that his blood vessels were like those of an 80 year old man. Two employees fed the waste product to baby calves and their hair fell out. After removing the fried apple chips from the diet their hair grew back in.

My daughter and her girls were telling jokes. Stephanie hit her mom's arm with the back of a butter knife in a gesture, "Oh mom" not hard enough to hurt. My daughters arm split open like it was rotten. She called me to ask what could have caused it. I said, "I'll bet anything that you are using Canola oil". Sure enough, there was a big gallon jug in the pantry.

Rape seed oil is a penetrating oil, to be used in light industry, not for human consumption. It contains a toxic substance. Even after the processing to reduce the erucic acid content, it is still a penetrating oil. We have found that it turns rancid very fast. Also it leaves a residual rancid odor on clothing.

Rape seed oil used for stir-frying in China found to emit cancer causing chemicals. (Rapeseed oil smoke causes lung cancer) Amal Kumar Maj. The Wall Street JournaL June 7, 1995 pB6(W) pB6 (E) col 1(11 col in). Compiled by Darleen Bradley.

Canola oil is a health hazard to use as a cooking oil or salad oil. It is not the healthy oil we thought it was. It is not fit for human consumption, do not eat canola oil, it can hurt you. Polyunsaturated or not, this is a bad oil.

Be Sure to also read this informative report written by leading health expert Tom Valentine, Canola Oil Report.

Go to Ask Jeeves yourself: http://www.askjeeves.com/ and type in (Where does Canola Oil come from?) and see what you come up with.

Happy Frying,

(Name removed on request)


Now, here's the real Urban Legend scoop...

"The name 'Canola' is derived from 'Canadian oil'" - True, one of the few facts the email gets right. 'Rape oil,' even 'Rapeseed oil' has obvious limitations in marketing potential, hence the invention of 'Canola'. Another name the oil is known as, 'lear oil' (for low erucic acid rapeseed), doesn't have much marketing pizzazz either.

"Canola oil is an industrial oil" - True, one of the components of canola oil is erucic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid. Erucic acid is used as a high temperature lubricant in industrial processes and has other applications. However, erucic acid is unpalatable and can have health effects in high concentrations. Canola oil sold for human consumption contains very little erucic acid, between 0.5% to 1%.

The implication that a food product that contains a very small amount of a substance used in industrial processes is unfit for human consumption does not stand up to a cursory reading of the contents label of almost any processed food.

"Rapeseed oil is related to the spread of 'Mad Cow Disease'" - False, 'Mad Cow Disease', more formally known as 'Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy', is caused by a virus-like form of protein called prions. The outbreaks of BSE in Europe and South America have been caused by the use of feed containing animal byproducts from BSE infected animals.

"'[Rapeseed] oil was the source of the chemical warfare agent mustard gas'" - False. Mustard gas is Bis(2-chloroethyl)sulfide and is manufactured by chemical processes that have nothing to with the plant or oil. The 'mustard' in mustard gas was due to its smell - it smelled like mustard - rather than its origin.

"The Canadian government and industry paid the FDA $50 million dollars to have canola oil placed on the 'Generally Recognized As Safe' (GRAS) list of foods" - False, the Food and Drug Administration placed low erucic acid canola oil on its GRAS list in 1985 following its normal procedures. At that time and as part of its normal GRAS procedures, the FDA performed its own testing of canola oil to verify its safety. After an extensive search, the Urban Legend Zeitgeist could find no evidence that FDA procedures were not followed or that any money was paid to the FDA to place canola oil on the GRAS list.

"Canola oil is linked to a fatal degenerative disease Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD)" - False, actually, erucic acid is one component of an oil preparation used in the treatment of ALD. Lorenzo's Oil contains 20% erucic acid and helps to lower the levels of very long chain fatty acids caused by ALD. Of course, canola oil contains much less erucic acid (less than 2%) and is certainly not the cause of ALD.

"Canola oil emits cancer causing chemicals" - True, but that's not quite the whole story. Scientific studies have shown that unrefined rapeseed oil, as well as refined canola oil, give off some mutagenic compounds that increase the risk of lung cancer. However, the study also notes that

"In the United States, where cooking oils are usually refined for purity, additional studies should be conducted to further quantify the potential risks of such methods of cooking."

Other studies show that unrefined Chinese rapeseed oil emits a small fraction of the carcinogen 1,3-butadiene as found in cigarette smoke. Again, the studies have evaluated Chinese rapeseed oil, not refined canola oil.

The scientific data showing a link between chemicals emitted by canola oil at high heats is not overwhelming at this time. Still, until more definitive evidence is found, it's probably best not to use canola oil in frying or cooking at high heat.

*  *  *


Whenever you receive a disturbing email like this one, check the Urban Legend site (http://www.urbanlegends.com) before you forward it to a friend, it just may be another hoax. And please note, the last part of this does say not to use canola oil in frying or cooking at high heat, so keep that in mind. We use Olive oil for just about everything now, it seems to be the healthiest choice.

Edited by Michelle Jones




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