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Nov 4, 2013 04:08 PM

All purpose non GMO oil for sauteeing

I've used canola oil for a long time for sauteeing. I've used extra virgin olive oil for decades for salads. One of my adult kids has given me a hard time about using canola. So now I need to buy some fresh oil for using at the stove. What non GMO would hounds recommend that has a high smoke point, totally neutral taste or at least non objectionable taste, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg?

I need to be able to find the oil in the PNW.

Thanks in advance.

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    1. re: GH1618

      Yep, I use grapeseed. It even works well in baking.

    2. Just an fyi. If a product is organic, then it is non-GMO. There are non-GMO canola oils. I'd check WF.

      22 Replies
      1. re: c oliver

        Extra light olive oil has a smoke point of 468 degrees. Neutral taste, not expensive.

        1. re: SteveRB

          Light Olive Oil Background

          Light olive oil on the other hand is considerably less pure. It is derived from olive oil that is not worthy of the extra virgin label. It is refined further using either mechanical, thermal or chemical means so that it may once again be fit for consumption. The resulting oil is more or less colorless and tasteless. To make it attractive to consumers, higher quality olive oil is added to the mix to bring back some color and flavor. Overall, not too much is added back, thus making the "light" label make more sense now. Sometimes vegetable oil, like canola oil, is added to the mix as well.

          1. re: magiesmom

            Funny, I used to think the same. Fishy. Threw it out. But then I attended an Asian dumpling class of Andrea Nguyen's and she used it. But suggested refrigerating cause it can become rancid. That solved the problem for me.

          2. re: c oliver

            OK, I am under the impression that canola is genetically modified.

            I gather from this article that some of the canola oil has been genetically engineered. That is why one of my children objected to my using it. I have never encountered organic canola oil.

            And, to be clear, I find canola oil to be totally tasteless. I don't detect any odor from it. For the purpose of this query and discussion, lets discuss what is generally available to those of us who want to know what an acceptable cooking oil is.

            1. re: sueatmo

              Here's one:


              If there's one I'm betting there's more. Do you have a local co-op or again WF?

              PS: You're kids might not know as much as they think they do :) I've found that with ours anyway!

              1. re: c oliver

                I don't participate in a co-op, don't know of one to participate in. I will look for non GMO canola at WF. But I certainly don't need a large jug of it.

                I used to use sunflower oil. if I can find a non GMO version, and apparently sunflower oil is not a GMO product, then I might buy that.

                I'm not opposed to grapeseed oil, but I am price sensitive, and I have to consider cost.

                I believe that someone posted that light olive oil has a higher smoke point than EVOO, so I might try that.

                I appreciate all the posts. Thanks for the good info.

                1. re: sueatmo

                  It funny about the EVOO. Except for real frying I use it for most of my cooking and don't find the smoke point an issue.

                  1. re: c oliver

                    I've always wondered if this was actually an issue. Do you sear steak with it or use it in a high temp oven without issues?

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      I don't use oil when I sear steak but rather a CI skillet seasoned with EVOO. I roast vegetable at 425 in it. It's my go-to oil though I know plenty of people disagree. I've had no problem so see no reason to change based on smoke point.

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        I wouldn't use evoo for searing. I either use a refined coconut oil or the extra light olive oil. Even those, however, smoke at the temperature I like to sear steak with so I prefer to just throw the thing on the grill with no oil.

                    2. re: sueatmo

                      See if Azure Standard has a truck route stop in your area. I'm addicted to that monthly drop.

                      1. re: sueatmo

                        I use organic safflower oil - since it is organic it is supposed to the non-gmo per labelling requirements (Spectrum brand). Try to buy a couple when they are on sale. In the PNW I have seen it at Whole Foods and Natural Grocers.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          ALL Canola Oil is made from GMO rape seed. Non-GMO Canola Oil...??? Whole Harvest Non-GMO Canola Oil is made from expeller pressed non-genetically modified canola oil. What? Modified canola oil isn't made from rape seed?? In Canada the rape seed has been renamed the canola seed, and is STILL GMO, solely owned & patented by Monsanto.
                          Use a proven non GMO oil; coconut, grape, avocado, etc, and let the truth put your mind a ease!

                          1. re: kupuna12

                            Incorrect, there are both transgenic and non-transgenic canola/rapeseed varieties on the market. GM rapeseed has been grown in Canada since 1996. In 2007, GM rapeseed was grown on 5.1 million hectares, which made up approximately 87 percent of Canada's rapeseed crop. GM rapeseed is grown to a lesser degree in the US and in certain states in Australia.

                            1. re: dobyblue

                              I say again, use a non GMO oil, coconut, grape seed, avocado, etc., and put your mind at ease and know for sure there is no controversy or fine print about GMO!!

                              1. re: kupuna12

                                Yes I agree and I use Omega Nutrition's Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil for the vast majority of my cooking except where I use 100% pastured grass-fed butter (frying pastured hen's eggs for example) and EVO for dressings...but I was just pointing out the misinformation about canola oil. Avoid canola at all costs, but don't post misinformation just to drive the point home. There is enough misinformation out there in GMO-land already on both sides of the debate...of course the corporate side is usually intentionally whereas the consumer is merely misinformed.

                            2. re: kupuna12


                              This is the canola oil I bought a year ago, and which I still use for most purposes. (see my last post dated Nov 3, 2013.) It explicitly states on the bottle and online that this canola is organic non gmo.

                              I am also experimenting with light olive oil, for cooking. I cannot imagine using good EVOO for sauteing. Why waste it in a cooking process which does not need its lovely flavor? And then, there is cost. Good EVOO is not cheap. I couldn't tell that the safflower oil worked any better than the canola at the high heat I use.

                        2. re: c oliver

                          How is that possible being that canola is GMO there is no such thing as naturally grown canola?

                          1. re: Egc1235

                            There are both transgenic and non-transgenic rapeseed varieties on the market -

                            1. re: Egc1235

                              There is no such thing as "canola", only "canola oil". Canola oil is extracted from low-erucic-acid rapeseed. The original strains of this type of rapeseed were produced by traditional hybridization, not genetic modification techniques.

                          2. Avocado oil--smoke point 500 degrees, non-gmo, light with a neutral taste, not too pricy. the brand I use is called Chosen Foods.

                            1. What is vegetable oil made with? I too stopped using canola oil and have been looking for a good substitute.

                              12 Replies
                              1. re: Monica

                                veg oil is most often gmo corn or gmo soy or a combo of both. awful stuff.

                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                  You mean it's not made with oils from vegetable s like squash and lettuce??? Shoot...sounds so healthy but not. I guess I will start using something else.

                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                    Isn't there organic vegetable oil, which is always non-GMO?

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      i honestly don't know. i never look for it. i don't consume soy and eat very little corn, so don't want to cook my food in it.

                                      for me it's not "just" about the gmo, but the pesticide levels and processing methods. these oils are highly inflammatory so i avoid them.

                                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                                        Don't organic foods have to be pesticide-free?

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          yeah, kinda. they can still put mud on things, and half a dozen other things you wouldn't think.

                                          1. re: Chowrin

                                            I don't see a problem with mud. What are the other "half a dozen" things please?

                                              1. re: Chowrin

                                                VERY interesting piece. Thanks for sharing. And, of course, anything from NPR always has high cred with me :)

                                  2. re: Monica

                                    Vegetable oil is made from corn. In the US 95% of corn is GMO and is in dozens of products described with dozens of names. Vegetable oil is sometimes also a blend of corn and canola oil, also made from GMO rape seed.

                                    1. re: kupuna12

                                      If it's labeled "vegetable oil" it's almost guaranteed NOT to be corn oil. It could be a blend including corn oil, but if it's not a blend, then they would label and sell it as corn oil, since it would command a higher price.

                                      A lot of generic vegetable oils are made with cheaper and less commercially viable oils, such as cottonseed or soybean oil; in addition, the type of oil(s) can be changed, depending on what is available cheaply on the commodity market. For example, the website for Crisco "pure vegetable oil" states: "100 percent soybean oil" but also "Product formulation and packaging may change. For the most current information regarding a particular product, please refer to the product package."

                                      Wesson "vegetable oil" is soybean oil.

                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                        Years ago I read to avoid cottonseed oil because it is contaminated with pesticide residue. I suppose that is still true? I don't want cottonseed oil in my kitchen!

                                  3. What does everyone think of coconut oil? Is it good for you even if it is solid at room temperature? Refined one is very neutral and it has high smoking point. My concern is with the solid state of it.

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: herby

                                      I actually use coconut oil for nearly everything now- i love the stuff! Not sure why the solid product weirds you out, it liquifies once warmed up in the pan very quickly.
                                      The medium chain fatty acids (aka the good for you stuff) is not altered by the solid vs liquid state of the oil

                                        1. re: c oliver

                                          if i was feeling more ambitious, i'd linkity-link about a billion studies refuting the info in that article. beginning with their concern with "cholesterol" in fats and insisting that oils like corn and soy are safer. ugh.

                                          that info is badly outdated.

                                          1. re: c oliver

                                            I would put a huge asterisk by the word "jury" - I personally don't put much stock into what MDs or dieticians say, they're both usually heavily influenced by the pharmaceutical industry and the industrial junk food industry.

                                          2. re: Ttrockwood

                                            Fat sources high in saturated fats tend to be solid at room temperature, so for a long time the recommendation was to avoid solid fats. The case against saturated fats is not as one-sided as it was once made out to be, though, so it's debatable whether this is still a good rule of thumb.

                                            1. re: Ttrockwood

                                              I hate the smell of hot coconut oil! I think that there are some more refined versions that are less smelly, but then there are questions about the residue and changes from refining....

                                              1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                I love coconut oil too, although I find that its flavor is a little too noticeable in certain things (eggs or other items which are mild in and of themselves). I use peanut oil for deep-frying and either peanut or olive for any sauteing that I don't want to use coconut oil for. I also use bacon grease and butter extensively for sauteing, roasting, etc. I'm not sure whether peanut oil is non-GMO or not, but it tastes a LOT better than veg or canola oil.

                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                  For eggs just try a little bit of pastured or organic butter. I got a great deal on pastured butter at Wegmans over the river, 100% grass fed cows that are 100% pastured, only $3.49 for a 1/2lb. Their regular butter is only $3.79/lb, much cheaper than the $7.99/lb you'll pay for the cheapest butter like Organic Meadow and that's when it's on sale.

                                                  I use coconut oil for all my frying and never noticed a flavor but the one I use is not supposed to leave a flavor, it's the Omega Nutrition variety. The Zehrs carries the 1/2 size for around $15 or so, but a local health store carries the larger double size for $19 and it was on sale last month for $16 so I bought three of them. WIth the exception of eggs, everything else I use coconut oil for.

                                                  We also use the same coconut oil for our skin moisturizer, works great and of course you already know there are no harmful parabens, phthalates, and all the other crud in the vast majority of skin care/bath care products that Health Canada doesn't regulate.