- Olive oil may be good for you, but check it's good for the land on which it's grown
 Information about food oils
- Over 70% of all oils and fats consumed in the world are derived from vegetable crops.
- The largest source of vegetable oil is soya. Other main sources include oil palm oilseed rape, unflowers, groundnuts and cottonseed.
- Rapeseed is mainly grown as a winter crop in the UK which has had a detrimental impact on the environment when compared to spring grown crops. GM rape is now being grown as trials in the UK and already makes up 62% of oilseed rape production in Canada.
- Oil palm production was partly responsible for the large scale fires in south east Asia in 1997 and 1998. Oil palm is planted in rainforest areas which have recently been cleared and has been partly responsible for the loss of biodiversity in many tropical areas.
- There are great disparities between rich and poor countries in the amount of oils and fats consumed. For example, the average north American consumes two and half times the amount of vegetable fat as the average African. The types of fats consumed in Africa were more likely to contain high levels of saturated fatty acids, such as palm oil.
- Many of the oils and fats consumed today in the UK are found in processed foods, and account for much of our consumption of saturated fats. Oils are often hydrogenated for processing, effectively converting them into saturated fats. Saturated fats cause the build up of cholesterol in the cardiovascular system leading to high blood pressure and ultimately heart attacks and strokes. Fat consumption has also been linked to cancer. It is generally recognised that people in high-income countries consume too much fat (particularly saturated fatty acids) but do not eat enough unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, found in some oils and fish.
- The European Union protects both its oilseed (sunflower, rapeseed and soya) and olive oil farmers with large subsidies which provide incomes above those provided at world market price. With the liberalisation of world trade and a predicted fall in vegetable oil prices, these subsidies will become more expensive to maintain.
Good Cooking Oils:
o canola oil o flax seed oil o peanut oil o olive oil o non-hydrogenated soft margarine o safflower oil o sunflower oil o corn oil
The following "bad" oils contain high percentage of trans fat or saturated fats. Some, such as coconut oil, even contain more saturated fats than animal products!
Bad Cooking Oils:
o Vegetable shortening o Hard margarine o Butter o Palm oil o Palm kernel oil o Coconut oil