It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. ~ Mark Twain
When George Gershwin composed the song It Ain’t Necessarily So, he was onto something. I’d love to have a nickel for everything I was taught or told or just accepted as fact in the course of my life. From food preservation to gardening to animal husbandry to medicine to finance, there have been a lot more ‘not-so’ things than ‘so’ things. A while back I did a post on not needing to waterbath jams and jellies; I got more than 100 comments corroborating my “not-so” position. At which point it occurred to me there are lots of other not-so things out there, and shazaam, I had an ongoing blog topic. Here’s the latest “it ain’t necessarily so” (IANS).
Eating fats made from corn, soy and canola is perfectly healthy.
Where do I start? First, vegetable oils are commonly made from seeds and beans that are commercially grown with pesticides and herbicides. They are also likely to be grown from GMO seeds, especially soybean oil. None of these plants actually produce ‘oil.’ In order to turn the liquid from the seeds/beans into what is called oil, they must be crushed and exposed to hexane solvents. Then the product is heated to extract the solvent. Next the oil is degummed or treated with alkali, refined again to remove waxes and steam-distilled to deodorize it. Whatever’s left when they get through processing it is called oil. These oils are loaded with Omega-6 fatty acids, which cause inflammation in the body and change the way your cell membranes work (that’s NOT a good thing!). They are full of trans-fats and increase the risk of heart disease and cancer, among other things. There’s evidence that they may increase the risk of asthma and eczema in children, as well as the risk of severe depression in adults. Most have additives like BHT and BHA – artificial antioxidants used to prevent these oils from becoming rancid. These compounds have been linked to cancer, kidney damage, infertility and immune system problems. Sunflower seeds really do have oil, but they’re still extracted with these methods, so it’s really not any better for you. True cold-pressed sunflower oil, in which the seeds are ground and very slowly squeezed through rollers, is OK, but most “cold-pressed” oils are run through a fine grind and a high velocity screw press, which increases temperatures to the point that the heat damages the oil. Much better to stick with butter, ghee, cream, coconut oil, palm oil, avocado oil and olive oil.
Take a Missouri Approach
Missouri is the “show me” state. The mental attitude of “you’ll have to prove it to me” is a good one. Use your common sense. When your experience or that of people you trust is contrary to accepted scientific wisdom or expert recommendations, odds are very high the scientific wisdom and the experts are out to lunch. Ask the old homicide lawyer’s question, “Cui bono?” Loosely translated as “Who benefits?” what it actually means is “To whose profit?” When big bucks, company survival or professional reputations are on the line, ethics quite often take a back seat. Circus entrepreneur PT Barnum is credited as the person who coined the sucker-born-every-minute rule. In fact, there’s no evidence that he did say it; however, there is some evidence that it was said about Barnum’s tactics, by a banker named David Hannum. Don’t be a sucker and remember: it ain’t necessarily so.