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Jul 6, 2012 11:03 PM

Paint-like odor and taste of soybean oil, is this rancidity or just how soybean is supposed to taste?

Hey good evening guys well I wanted to sit and chat about soybean oil and how crazy it is that this could possibly not even be an edible oil! Basically I am really into food and have been using this brand of organic non gmo soybean oil in my cooking, I believed it to be healthy!
Cut to me reading about the phytoestrogens and such and I knew I had to stop using soy in all of my diet. What was so weird was after I knew this it was as if I "smelled" soybean oil for what it was! I would be constantly opening up my bottle of soybean oil and poking my nose in and smelling, and it reminded me of my old oil painting classes when I was a kid. Then I would go through my dirty laundry and my tshirts would smell heavily of some paint-ish/oily type smell, which was of course the soybean oil coming out of my pores because I was eating alot of it in my cooking!

I guess I just wanted to talk about how crazy our food world is where we have people trying to get us to eat things that aren't really food, cough cottonseed cough canola cough . . . .

I have started researching about the history of soybean oil and have come across some freaky quotes,

"Fifty years ago soybean oil tasted like paint. Today it is tasteless and odor-free and accounts for 75 percent of the vegetable oil sold in the United States. It is used in salad dressings and granola bars, to fry potato chips and french fries, and in 101 other products. It is in many non-food products, from printer's ink to caulking compound to lipstick. Further, after soybean oil is pressed from the bean, the remaining soybean meal is a valuable animal feed.

Most of the research that made soy oil palatable was carried out at the ARS lab in Peoria. A number of reasons were found for its unpleasant taste and smell, including trace metals from iron processing equipment and linolenic acid, a fatty acid naturally present in soybean oil. Equipment was replaced with stainless steel and processes were discovered to remove or inhibit oxidation of the linolenic acid, which occurred when the oil was exposed to air. Better storage improved shelf life. Each discovery made soybean oil better.

The noses and tongues of many ARS employees have been enlisted over the years to evaluate soy oil, both heated and unheated. Some testers chalked up more than 20-years of experience in oil-sniffing. "

Do these crazy people not understand if something tastes like paint why would you want to market this to the whole world and poison them?
Is this really what goes on "out there" with the food business and all of that, trying to make things that really shouldn't be eaten eaten?

I guess my confusion was about whether or not they meant the paint like taste was from rancidity or was this just the way it tasted naturally?
I guess I want to believe that even though soy has phytoestrogens, the whole paint thing is just from rancidity and not the soy itself, that would be pretty freaky because 99% of the people out there are consuming this oil everyday!

What are your thoughts? Is this paint-smell and taste from rancidity or is this just the natural state of soybeans? Is this not insane that someone would try and get this paint-type oil into the bodies of unsuspecting americans?

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  1. If you want to study up on fats, I would suggest you read some works by Dr Mary Enig. Decades of good information.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sedimental

      I guess I am just so hurt by our world, everyday I find out something sickening.
      This makes me want to throw up!
      Why would anyone "higher up" with "higher power" up in the government or whatever want to make an oil that is more suitable for painting an oil that we should consume? That is like pure Hitler level..

      What's so crazy is if the taste of soybean oil wasn't removed no one would be eating these fries at Mcdonalds or the pizzas from mainstream pizza companies or the mayonnaise in your salad?!?!?!?!?

    2. Does anyone have some input on whether or not I am mis-reading this or not? Is the paint-like smell and taste from rancid oil, which would make sense and not really be a big deal (a rancid oil will smell, no big deal right?) or are they saying even back then it tasted like paint so they knew they had to do something to get that taste out to market it to the unsuspecting sheeple?!?!?!

      4 Replies
      1. re: certifiedhumane

        I use soybean exclusively for deep-frying (because I'm too cheap to use peanut or olive oil in that quantity except on very rare occasions) and I've never noticed a smell of paint, so my one anecdotal vote is for rancidity. Canola oil smells like linseed oil and tastes a little fishy to me, for what it's worth, so I guess it's possible you happen to find the flavor of soybean oil - which I find very neutral - to be off-putting.

        1. re: MikeG

          I only deep fry things once or twice a year, and when I do, I'll spring for at least half peanut oil and it's worth it. But I know what you mean about the fishiness of canola oil. Maybe it's just a personal chemical-reaction type of thing, but that fishiness gets me much more than the "paint". I've never noticed it--and I can sniff out a rotten vegetable from the front door when no one else in this house can smell it standing right next to it.

          1. re: staughton

            I thought I was nuts! I am forced to use canola oil at work, and keep saying to myself, "this smells like fish"! I never allow the stuff into my home kitchen, nor soybean oil. Does anyone know why canola smells like fish? I need to research this.

          2. re: MikeG

            +1, i've never cared much for canola oil for the reasons you mentioned.

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. Try finding a bottle of prepared salad dressing in the grocery store NOT made with either canola or soybean oil. I haven't found one yet. Even the stuff like "Newman's Olive Oil Dressing" still has canola in it. I won't buy the stuff.

            The same goes for mayonnaise. I did find one made without those oils*, but other stuff was added to it, and it didn't taste like mayonnaise anymore. So either I give up mayonnaise, eat the garbage mayo at the store, or make my own.


            1. Soybean oil "not an edible oil"? Nonsense. Unless you have a soy allergy, or your oil has gone bad, soy oil is as edible as any other cooking oil.

              If a bottle of soybean oil "tastes like paint," throw it out. If for some reason all soybean oil tastes like paint to you, just use another oil or fat in your food.

              Soy has been grown for food and eaten in many forms for thousands of years. Its non-food uses are recent discoveries and a tribute to the plant's versatility, but don't make soybean oil itself any less edible, You might as well believe that milk is inedible because it's been used to make glue. That's crazy talk.

              3 Replies
              1. re: John Francis

                Given the kinds of things our (sometimes not-so-distant) ancestors used to eat "naturally" (bugs ... grubs under logs .... rotting meat .... raw grains) I'm not going to worry too much about modern science finding ways to make the formerly unpalatable, palatable.

                Food is food. But I'd rather it didn't taste like something rotten, personally.

                1. re: KitchenBarbarian

                  Like I said, if it tastes bad, throw it out.

                  1. re: John Francis

                    Apparently I failed to make my point. I'm not decrying the use of modern science to remove unpleasant smells and tastes - I'm all for it!