Canola has a relatively short history, dating back only to the 1970s, when it was developed as a new type of oilseed crop.


Canola has a relatively short history, dating back only to the 1970s, when it was developed as a new type of oilseed crop. The name “canola” is actually a contraction of “Canadian oil, low acid” and was chosen as a marketing term to differentiate the new crop from traditional rapeseed, which had a high level of erucic acid and was not considered suitable for human consumption.

The development of canola was led by Canadian researchers, who used traditional plant breeding techniques to crossbreed different varieties of rapeseed plants in order to create a new crop with a low level of erucic acid and a high level of oleic acid. This new crop was initially called “LEAR” for “low erucic acid rapeseed”, but the name “canola” was eventually adopted as a more marketable term.

Canola was first introduced commercially in Canada in the 1970s and quickly gained popularity due to its lower levels of saturated and trans fats compared to other cooking oils, as well as its neutral flavour and versatility in cooking and baking. Today, canola is grown and produced in many countries around the world, including the United States, Australia, and Europe.

In addition to its use as a cooking oil, canola is also used as a feedstock for biodiesel production, and its by-products, such as meal and hulls, are used as animal feed and in a variety of industrial applications. Canola has also been the subject of ongoing research and development, with efforts focused on improving its yield, disease resistance, and nutritional content, as well as exploring new applications such as canola protein for use in food products.

Will canola ever rule the world?

It is highly unlikely that canola will ever rule the world. Canola is a type of rapeseed that is commonly grown for its oil, which is used in cooking and as a biofuel. While canola is an important crop in many countries, it is just one of many crops that are grown around the world.

There are many factors that contribute to a crop’s success, including climate, soil conditions, and demand from consumers. While canola is a popular crop in some regions, it may not be well-suited to grow in other areas. Additionally, there are many other crops that are also in demand, such as wheat, corn, and soybeans.

Furthermore, crops cannot “rule” the world in the same way that a government or other entity can. While crops are important for food and fuel production, they do not have the ability to exert power or control over people or societies. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that canola, or any other crop, will ever rule the world.

The Next Big Thing in Canola

Canola is already an important crop with many uses, but there are several emerging trends that could have a significant impact on its future.

One trend is the development of new canola varieties with improved traits, such as higher yields, better disease resistance, and improved oil quality. This could lead to increased profitability for farmers and more sustainable production methods.

Another trend is the growing demand for plant-based foods and alternative proteins. Canola protein is a high-quality, nutritious ingredient that can be used in a variety of food products, including meat substitutes, dairy alternatives, and sports nutrition products.

The use of canola oil as a biofuel is also gaining popularity as countries around the world seek to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and lower their carbon footprint. This could lead to increased demand for canola as a renewable energy source.

Finally, as the world population continues to grow, there is an increasing need for sustainable agriculture practises that can feed more people with fewer resources. Canola is a relatively low-input crop that can be grown using sustainable farming methods, making it an attractive option for farmers looking to reduce their environmental impact.

Overall, the next big thing in canola is likely to be a combination of these trends, as farmers, researchers, and industry leaders work to develop new varieties, products, and production methods that are more sustainable, profitable, and environmentally friendly.

Canola: Expectation vs. Reality

Canola has been a highly successful crop, with widespread adoption and a range of uses in the food, fuel, and industrial sectors. However, as with any crop, there are some expectations that have not been fully realized.

One expectation was that canola would be a more environmentally friendly alternative to other oilseed crops. While canola is generally considered to be a more sustainable crop than some other oilseeds, such as palm oil, there are still concerns about the environmental impact of canola production. For example, canola requires large amounts of water and fertiliser, which can contribute to water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

Another expectation was that canola would be a profitable crop for farmers. While canola can be a profitable crop in some regions, there are also challenges associated with production, such as disease and pest pressures and fluctuating market prices.

There was also an expectation that canola oil would be a healthier alternative to other types of vegetable oils. While canola oil is lower in saturated fat and higher in monounsaturated fat than many other vegetable oils, there are also concerns about its omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, which some studies suggest may be less favourable than other oils.

Overall, while canola has been a successful crop, there are also challenges and limitations associated with its production and use. As with any crop, it is important to weigh the potential benefits and risks and to continue to innovate and improve production methods to maximize its sustainability and profitability.

Stories about Canola

There are many interesting stories about canola, from its origins to its current uses and future potential. Here are a few examples:

  1. The Origin of Canola: Canola was developed in the 1970s as a result of crossbreeding between different types of rapeseed plants. The name “Canola” was coined from “Canadian oil, low acid” as the crop was developed in Canada and contains low levels of erucic acid, which is toxic to humans.
  2. Canola in Space: In 1995, Canola became the first crop to be grown and harvested in space, as part of an experiment on the Russian space station Mir. The Canola plants were grown hydroponically, without soil, and were found to have adapted well to the microgravity environment.
  3. Canola as a Biofuel: Canola oil is increasingly being used as a feedstock for biodiesel production, due to its high oil content and low sulphur content. This has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy security.
  4. Canola Protein: Canola protein is an emerging ingredient that has the potential to be used in a wide range of food products, including meat alternatives, dairy alternatives, and sports nutrition products. Canola protein is high in essential amino acids and has a neutral taste, making it an attractive alternative to soy and other plant-based proteins.
  5. Canola and Sustainable Agriculture: Canola is a relatively low-input crop that can be grown using sustainable farming practices, such as conservation tillage and crop rotation. This has the potential to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture and improve soil health.

Health and nutritional benefits of canola

Canola oil, derived from the canola plant, has several health and nutritional benefits, making it a popular choice for cooking and baking. Here are some of the key benefits:

  1. Heart Health: Canola oil is low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to have a positive effect on heart health. Studies have found that substituting Canola oil for saturated fats in the diet can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Canola oil is a good source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid that is important for brain function and heart health. A 1 tablespoon serving of Canola oil provides about 1.3 grams of ALA.
  3. Vitamin E: Canola oil is also a good source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the body against cellular damage. Vitamin E is also important for maintaining healthy skin and immune function.
  4. Versatility: Canola oil has a high smoke point, making it a good choice for high-heat cooking methods such as frying and baking. It also has a neutral taste, making it a versatile ingredient in a wide range of recipes.
  5. Gluten-Free: Canola oil is naturally gluten-free, making it a safe option for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.