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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.

      18 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. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canola

            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: 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.

                    3. 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.

                                      2. Rice Bran Oil is probably the best that I've found. Trader Joes sells it now. It has a 490 degree smoke point. Very neutral tasty, even smells nice.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: hankstramm


                                          According to this, all TJs labeled products - not meat products - are non-GMO.

                                          1. re: hankstramm

                                            Has anyone tested rice bran oil for arsenic?

                                            1. re: vonshu

                                              I use either safflower or grapeseed oil for general purpose.

                                            2. light olive oil
                                              grape seed oil
                                              non-gmo canola is available

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: JudiAU

                                                i read that by it's very nature canola is GMO: canola is a canadian version of GMO rapeseed oil. it's a name they made up - thus the "can" part of the name.

                                                1. re: rmarisco

                                                  Not true. Canola was developed from rape (a type of mustard plant) using conventional plant breeding techniques.

                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                    Canola was developed using traditional plant breeding techniques (see Spectrum's good discussion) but most versions being sold now are now GMO. So yes, GMO-free canola is available.

                                              2. Oils that I use in my house (non gmo, and non-chemically extracted afaik:
                                                Sunflower Seed Oil
                                                Avocado Oil
                                                EV Olive Oil
                                                Hazelnut Oil
                                                Grapeseed Oil

                                                I live in Seattle and get Sunflower oil at Trader Joes, Avocado and hazelnut oil on amazon, olive oil at costco or the grocery store, and grapeseed at Big John's PFI in South Seattle.

                                                I still prefer cooking with grass-fed butter or schmaltz though.

                                                1. I use peanut and coconut oils the most. Ok and lard.

                                                  1. So out of all these wonderful non GMO oils, which is the healthiest?

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: Monica

                                                      Depends on what you're looking for in an oil. I personally love coconut oil, but the flavor disgusts my husband, so we rarely use it around our house. Makes a fabulous sugar scrub though!

                                                      1. re: LaureltQ

                                                        Try the Omega Nutrition brand, it's 100% organic coconut oil and imparts ZERO flavour to what you're cooking. Fantastic stuff.

                                                      2. re: Monica

                                                        I personally don't think there's much difference. People go back and forth arguing the merits of various oils, but I've never seen anything that demonstrates definitively that the type of oil you consume (as opposed to the amount) affects your health in real-world usage. Use the oils you like in moderation and don't worry about it!

                                                        1. re: Monica

                                                          Fascinating article (very technical) written by two experts on lipids (aka fats) http://www.westonaprice.org/know-your.... If you skip to the end there is a synopsis of the various oils/fats available for consumption.

                                                          One oil that Dr Enig says can be used at higher heat if you don't want the coconut essence is non toasted sesame oil. According to Dr Enig "Sesame Oil contains 42% oleic acid, 15% saturated fat, and 43% omega-6 linoleic acid. Sesame oil is similar in composition to peanut oil. It can be used for frying because it contains unique antioxidants that are not destroyed by heat. However, the high percentage of omega-6 militates against exclusive use."

                                                        2. Bottom line, none of the non-gmo oils will be as cheap as mass market canola or vegetable oil. I have been using peanut oil as the lowest cost replacement.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: firecooked

                                                            I have peanut oil at home, but rarely use it, as a friend of mine has a pretty severe nut allergy, and when I'm not sure if she'll be coming to eat at our house (or if I'll be making something in a skillet that has a little bit of peanut oil left in it), the possibility of some of the oil making it into her food is too high. :(

                                                            1. re: LaureltQ

                                                              If it's refined peanut oil there should be no allergenic compounds left.

                                                              1. re: dobyblue

                                                                well, here's the problem. our allergist says it should be no problem however, he has had patients who has reacted to high refined peanut oil. all it takes is one human error meaning the people in the plant makes a mistake etc. it should go thru some kind of test but as he says humans are in control and there's been mistakes. better to err on the side of caution if there's a choice.

                                                          2. Butter, peanut oil, coconut oil. The latter tends to impart a strong taste which I don't prefer with some food like asian stir fry. i don't use peanut oil bc my child has a peanut allergy and his dr. doesn't want us to risk it however, 2 or our local farm to table restaurants only use peanut oil for deep frying bc it's the only safe non -GMO oil they can find.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: trolley

                                                              Find the Omega Nutrition brand, no taste. I tried a few before I found this one, kind of gross tasting coconut on your chicken fingers.

                                                              This one - http://bitesforbabies.com/wp-content/...

                                                            2. I use grapeseed oil for the purposes for which I used to use canola. [Spectrum] I honestly don't know where it sits in the range of prices.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: ellabee

                                                                So is all grapeseed oil non-GMO?

                                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                                  As far as I know, GMO plants are almost all annual crop plants, that grow from seed each season. Woody plants like fruit trees and grapevines don't present the same profit-making possibilities.

                                                                  That's my impression, anyway.

                                                                  My thought was that grapes are already a big crop for wineries, and that pressing oil from the seed is getting some value out of what would otherwise be waste. Again, an impression more than a conclusion I could cite evidence for.

                                                                  1. re: ellabee

                                                                    The most commercially successful GMO characteristic is Roundup resistance. If the crop is not harmed by this herbicide, it makes controlling weeds easier. Another common GMO trait is insect resistance. The main GMO crops in the USA are corn, soybeans, cotton and canola - all oil sources.

                                                                    has good graphs of adoption of these GMO crops, by crop, trait, and year.

                                                                    confirms that these are the only GMO crops on the market. Others are approved but not grown commercially.

                                                                    And speaking of healthy oils, "Monsanto is genetically engineering soybeans with higher levels of heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, hoping to produce healthier cooking oils."

                                                                    1. re: paulj

                                                                      Thanks for the references, paulj. It seems that genetically modified fruit trees/vines are a real and coming thing, even if currently not close to the scale on which annual seed-grown crops are grown.

                                                              2. I made a trip to WF today and came home with a large bottle of organic, non GMO canola oil. This was by far the best buy. I intend to use it for, say eggs, and the odd baking chore. (Sometimes I use a mix of butter and oil in recipes.)

                                                                I also bought a smaller and more expensive bottle of safflower oil refined for high heat. Also non GMO. So if I fry something, I'll have the oil best suited for it.

                                                                I don't know if I'll like the safflower oil, but I'll find out.

                                                                These oils are much, much pricier than the grocery store canola that I have been buying. Ouch.

                                                                Of course I also have EVOO around the house. I've been buying the California oil I am seeing here now. Not cheap, but not awful either.