Latest news from Big Barn and our producers.

Oil week: Week 29 of BigBarn’s food and drink weeks

We are told so often not to eat oil because it is bad for you but in fact it isn’t. Rapeseed oil is an incredibly versatile and also healthy. Buying cold pressed extra virgin rapeseed oil not only boost the economy because it is usually sold by artisan producers but it holds a lot of health benefits. Rapeseed oil has 10 x more Omega 3 then olive oil. It is high in vitamin E and has the lowest saturated fat content of any oil which makes it one of the best oils you can buy. Compared to other oils, Rapeseed oil, is fairly inexpensive and is grown right over Britain. Rapeseed also cooks at a higher temperature then a lot of other oils which gives it versatility in the kitchen.

UK farmers have been growing rape for 40 years and sold via the food industry. It has then been used to make vegetable oil using solvents to extract as much oil as possible. The trouble is, the solvents are difficult to extract at the end of the process, and ruin the end product.

Luckily some enterprising farmers, angry by the low price they were being paid for their rape, realised they could make a better return by crushing their own and sell for the same price as a quality Olive oil.

An even more interest fact is that local rapeseed oil could have some of the same anti allergenic qualities as local honey, helping hay fever and perhaps many other ailments.

This is a classic example of the food industry failing consumers and why we should look local for the best food and drink. The more we communicate and buy, the more farmers are encouraged to grow more, and diversify. Likewise the more we buy the better economies of scale and the cheaper the produce will get.

Now we are certainly not knocking other oils, such as linseed and Olive, they all certainly have their place and benefits. Olive oil has a rich flavour that makes it the ultimate salad partner and has also been linked to lowering the risk of heart disease and breast cancer. However there is only one olive farm in the UK so much of it has to be imported. We recommend buying it from small farm shops and suppliers not only because it supports a local industry but because they usually find the best.

rapeseed oil, local and good for you

rapeseed oil, local and good for you

To find your local rapeseed oil producer, or specialist olive oil and buy online we have lots of enterprising farmers in our MarketPlace. To make the delivery charge less of a burden, you can buy a larger quantity and share it with your friends.

If you have a favourite ‘oil’ recipe that you’d like to share, or any other recipe, and would like the chance to win a prize, please video your recipe and add it to KIS (Keep it Simple) Cookery. Please have a look at existing videos here and try and keep your video less than 2 minutes long.

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