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Canola fields

©Meandering Passage - Earl Moore Photography

A bright yellow field of Canola blooms, Statesville, North Carolina

Over the last few years I’ve been seeing more and more of these bright yellow fields growing on farms in central North Carolina and with a little research found the crop to be Canola (CANadian Oil – Low Acid) / Rapeseed.

©Meandering Passage - Earl Moore Photography

Canola blooms, Statesville, North Carolina

Rapeseed is a member of the mustard family which in its natural state contained a high percentage of erucic acid, a substance associated with heart lesions in laboratory animals and possibly other serious health related issues.  However, today’s variety of Rapeseed or Canola, as its growers and supporters prefer to call it, is modified to reduce the percentage of erucic acid to acceptable human consumption standards receiving qualified health claim by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of low saturated-fat content reducing the risk of heart disease. It is one of the more inexpensive cooking oils currently available.

Some Canola is from strains developed to have naturally lower levels of the problematic chemicals. However, more then 60 percent of the canola crop in Canada (where most of it is grown) comes from genetically modified seed, making it illegal in Europe and opposed by activists throughout the world.

Being declared “safe” can be an illusion and is far different from the statement “according to our current information it doesn’t appear to cause any harm.” It’s not hard to imagine mankind for all its brilliance in modifying genes for benefits may be down-the-road unlocking some unforseen dire consequences. It would be a fitting reference for dying by the seeds of our own sowing, would it not?

Perhaps modified Canola/Rapeseed is safe, I am not educated nor informed enough to argue the point.  I do know, standing by the fields, I was repulsed by the sickening sweet smell of the blooms and had to leave in order to not become physically ill.



3 Comments on Canola fields

  1. I’m seeing our food consumption differently as I’ve aged and as we become more aware of what is in our processed foods. Not sure about all the FDA claims is okay. I also like your statement, “unforseen dire consequences.” I feel we are messing too much with nature’s processes. Love the colors of that field.
    Monte Stevens recently posted… Pink Dumpster

    • Monte, It’s a dangerous time when you know enough to make changes but you’ve not yet got the experience to be certain of the outcome…I think that’s where we are messing around with genes — plant or animal. The FDA is under manned, under budgeted and susceptible to big business. Heck our elected representatives don’t even represent us little guys any longer! Take care, my friend!

  2. Wow, that view is something else Earl. I guess I have been ignorant on what a Canola field looks like and consider myself a bit more educated than 5 minutes ago, so thanks! Shame a view so pleasant has to have other not so pleasant qualities when taken in by other senses.
    Mark recently posted… Crouching Tog Hidden Reward

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