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NOW CLOSED Take the challenge to be in with a chance of winning supermarket vouchers worth up to £250

(75 Posts)
AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 08-Jul-13 11:12:37

We've been asked by to find MNers to take part in a 2 week rapeseed oil challenge starting 22nd July.

Here's what, a not-for-profit campaign that aims to inspire people to use this cooking oil, say about the challenge: "Did you know rapeseed oil, sometimes labelled vegetable oil, is one of the healthiest and most versatile cooking oils you can buy? It has 50% less saturated fat than olive oil and can be used cold in salad dressings through to frying at high temperatures. Many celeb chefs, nutritionists and foodies are championing rapeseed oil for its culinary and health properties. Give it a try and tell us what you think to be entered into a prize draw."

Here's what's involved:

- This is open to all UK MNers with at least one child aged between 2 and 16 living at home.

- The challenge will be from 22nd July to 5th August. During the challenge you'll need to post your feedback on a thread on MN. Please only sign up if you and your family are available to take part during this time.

- The challenge is to buy two bottles of rapeseed oil - one labelled 'vegetable oil' and the other labelled 'cold pressed' - and then to use these in place of your normal cooking oils for two weeks and tell us what you think. (If you already use rapeseed oil, feel free to take part in this challenge too.)

- If you have any questions about rapeseed oil, go to to ask the nutritionist and check out their guide to rapeseed oil FAQs. Try their easy and tasty recipes while you're there.

- 100 MNers will be selected as 'officials'. If selected, you'll be sent a £10 voucher to contribute towards the cost of buying the oils. This voucher will be for one of two supermarkets - you can submit your preference of supermarkets when you sign up. All 'officials' who post their feedback on the MN thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £250 supermarket voucher of their choice.

- You can still take part if you don't get selected as an 'official'. All 'non-officials' who take part in the challenge and post their feedback on the MN thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £150 supermarket voucher of their choice.

If you'd like to take part as an 'official' in the challenge, please sign up here.

We'll be in touch with the 100 'official' MNers selected to take part in the challenge by 16th July.


5madthings Mon 08-Jul-13 12:29:23


aristocat Mon 08-Jul-13 12:33:07


I keep putting my name down so fingers crossed this time!!!

VelvetStrider Mon 08-Jul-13 13:31:36

Done. I hope the oil smells nicer than the plants - I have to cover my nose whenever we drive past a rapeseed field as it smells so bad!

Done, hope I get picked. I never seem to and have started feeling like the one left at the end in PE who no one wants on their team <paranoid sobbing>

My spaniel partakes in RapeseedOilTrials everyday. However I have to wash it all off after his walk or he makes everything sticky
Maybe he'd be really yummy if I fried him before washing

AtYourCervix Mon 08-Jul-13 14:27:13

I hate rapeseed. It smells foul, is too bright and makes my eyes itch.

Pontouf Mon 08-Jul-13 14:59:08

I really like the smell of rapeseed! My mother always slags it off though as she used to keep bees and says that rapeseed pollen makes crap honey.

CuppaSarah Mon 08-Jul-13 15:43:17

I had no clue about rapeseed oil being so good for you! Picked or not I'm swapping to it from now on.

aboutagirl Mon 08-Jul-13 16:18:07

I already use it in place of olive oil for general cooking and frying. For those buying I really like the Borderfrields brand which you can get in Aldi for £2.99 - more expensive elsewhere

mignonette Mon 08-Jul-13 16:22:03

I love Rapeseed oil although to anybody who loves Frank Zappa, the brand called Mellow Yellow is a little off putting wink

Glitterfairys Mon 08-Jul-13 16:31:02

I'm like CuppaSarah and did not have a clue how good Rapeseed oil is for you. Im all for lowering my familys saturated fat intake smile

AtYourCervix Mon 08-Jul-13 16:34:11

I can't believe that anything that smells that bad, and causes such massive allergic reactions in so many people, can be good for anyone.

Evil stuff.

We went to a rapeseed farm recently it was amazing to see how many little pin head size black seeds each plant makes! We saw how the oil was pressed, it looked fab and we tried it in the salad dressing and they looked our meat for lunch in a little of it.

florencebabyjo Mon 08-Jul-13 17:22:59

This one should be interesting. I want to see how easily it adapts to baking recipes.


helenthemadex Mon 08-Jul-13 17:58:08


landofsoapandglory Mon 08-Jul-13 20:07:38

I'm with AtYourCervix, Rapeseed is like poison. It makes DS2's asthma bad, DS1's eyes swell up and I think that the massive increase in the amount of it being grown right next to my house is the cause for my morning migraines, so have to sleep with the windows shut!

fuckwittery Mon 08-Jul-13 21:19:59

We seem to be surrounded by rapeseed fields, but they don't sell it in my nearest supermarket, I need an excuse to venture further afield to find some though, I keep hearing how great it is.

fuzzpig Mon 08-Jul-13 21:51:21

Sounds intriguing!

blondieminx Mon 08-Jul-13 22:44:21

I'm with AtYourCervix - and I particularly dislike the way the crop makes it look like someone's taken a highlighter pen to the countryside angry

Vile stuff.

Olive oil all the way here!

fuckwittery Mon 08-Jul-13 22:46:28

Atyourcervix and other allergic people - using the oil in cooking might actually increase your tolerance? Totally unscientific but I know that eating local honey is meant to be good for increasing tolerance to local pollens.

Svina Mon 08-Jul-13 22:55:34

I have never seen cold pressed rape seed oil for sale any where let alone aldi. Would like to try.

Sconset Mon 08-Jul-13 23:17:17

florenecebabyjo rapeseed oil is known as canola oil in US/Canada, and it's actually used in loads of US/Canadian recipes (particularly muffins).

I, too, have never seen cold pressed rapeseed oil for sale anywhere. I buy organic rapeseed oil from sainsbury's (own brand organic range)- I much prefer rapeseed to sunflower, which I find makes me heave when cooked/heated. No idea why, but I prefer the smell/taste of rapeseed oil.

WilsonFrickett Mon 08-Jul-13 23:36:57

We are on holiday so I can't sign up, but have been using rapeseed oil for a year now and I much prefer it. It's easier to cook with, better for you, and it's local.

Last year we moved from the city to a semi-rural location and DH and I both had terrible hay fever, which we put down to now living surrounded by rapeseed fields. Someone suggested we started to use the oil, both in cooking and taking raw, tbh we didn't do the raw teaspoonfuls but we have had very little problems with hay fever so far this year.

Gunznroses Tue 09-Jul-13 06:54:38

Can someone please clarify for me is Rapeseed oil the same as Vegetable oil ? That seems to be what is suggeted here. For yrs we have cooked with vegetable oil then a nutritionist advised we switch to "Rapeseed oil", i've been using this for the last yr, its difficult to get in the shops and only ever get it in small bottles, but this thread has really confused me now.

VelvetStrider Tue 09-Jul-13 07:50:38

To be honest though, if they are trying to promote this oil it might be better to rebrand it so it's not named after a violent disgusting crime. Murder bread anyone? Manslaughter milk? Domestic violence eggs?

If the USA is calling it canola oil, maybe we should too?

Or maybe something that doesn't sound like medical equipment (cannula)?

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Tue 09-Jul-13 08:51:08

There's a lot of negative info on the web about rape/canola oil. Seems to be regarded as toxic by some.

prissyenglisharriviste Tue 09-Jul-13 14:10:40

A not-for-profit campaign run by a marketing board? I've heard it all now.

AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 09-Jul-13 14:31:18

Thanks to everyone who has signed up so far!
The team at have asked us to post the below which will help with any queries / confusion about what oil is what.

"Thanks for the enthusiasm so far! There's lots of questions - we've set up a FAQs (frequently asked questions) page for you - and if any of your questions have not been answered and you'd like them to be, please do use our Ask the nutritionist tool - we'd be glad to have a chat and try to help"

Sconset Tue 09-Jul-13 19:46:47

Gunznroses you're not thinking of Grapeseed oil are you? That comes in tiny bottles, and is hard to find. Rapeseed oil is pretty ubiquitous, though yes, I've heard it isn't great for allergies...

Justfornowitwilldo Wed 10-Jul-13 00:20:43
Onetwo34 Wed 10-Jul-13 03:01:15

This is a veeeery convoluted plot by that MRSA troll this time I have to say.

Yonihadtoask Wed 10-Jul-13 08:54:54

I am on holiday then, so can't sign up.

Have been using Rapeseed oil for a few months though anyway - it is more expensive than the cheapo vegetable oils - but as we don't use loads I am happy to pay the price.

mumat39 Wed 10-Jul-13 10:42:14

Fuckwittery, my DD has allergies including to rapeseed oil. She has had allergies since she was a baby. Her allergy doctor basically to
D me she wouldnt be allergic to rapeseed oil, and was surprised that she does have this allergy.

We were in America recently and Canola allergy is actually vey common there. Canola oil is widely used, and is in lots of everyday foods. They have a high incidence of canola allergy, presumably for that reason.

Your suggestion that using something could build up an intolerance is actually potentially dangerous. For someone with an actual proper allergy to anything, the recommended advice is to avoid the allergen. And for those people, including my daughter, it is only when skin prick tests and blood tests show that the allergen reaction is reduced that the food is introduced, under controlled conditions in a hospital where temperature and blood pressure and other vitals are monitored during the introduction.

If you have mentioned this based on evidence you have read/researched, then I would be very grateful if you would point me in the direction of the papers or studies as I am happy to be told I am wrong n this asit would make my life alot easier.

WilsonFrickett Wed 10-Jul-13 11:10:06

I think mum what fuckwittery - and certainly what I was referring to in my pp – is pollen allergies, ie hayfever. A lot of people are allergicr to rapeseed pollen and many people, including me, have found that eating rapeseed oil improves their hayfever/pollen sensitivities.

Of course if someone is allergic to the oil itself it should be avoided. I dont think anyone was suggesting otherwise though, just that eating the oil apparently helps with hayfever.

HillfarmOil Wed 10-Jul-13 11:40:42

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HillfarmOil Wed 10-Jul-13 11:45:03

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HillfarmOil Wed 10-Jul-13 11:55:09

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SherbertDip Wed 10-Jul-13 12:02:30


mumat39 Wed 10-Jul-13 12:02:42

Oh ok Wilson, I obviously misunderstood. Apologies. smile

And thanks for clarifying that. I understand the honey reference now.

Done. Bet you two bottles of rapeseed oil I don't get picked though.

WilsonFrickett Wed 10-Jul-13 12:15:26

No worries grin Hope your dd is doing ok, allergies are very hard work!

Justfornowitwilldo Wed 10-Jul-13 12:39:31

'I've got a bottle from one of the main British producers of posh rapeseed oil. It's a glorious, shocking yellow but it smells rather dusty and cabbagey. The taste is simultaneously bland and tongue-coatingly unpleasant; it reminds me of rancid walnuts and second-hand bookshops. Dabbous is probably right to put this stuff in mayonnaise, where olive oil will often overpower things. But in a salad dressing it's so much cold wet grease, and I don't see the point of cooking with something so comparatively expensive'

HillfarmOil Wed 10-Jul-13 12:56:47

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emsthecook Wed 10-Jul-13 13:18:29

I get rapeseed oil in my local supermarkets - Sainsbury's & Tesco's. I've tried a few different brands and by far and away my favourite is Hillfarm (black bottle with blue writing).

fuckwittery Wed 10-Jul-13 13:53:57

You have to pay to advertise your product on this site HFOil, your posts are likely to be deleted soon.

mumat39 yes sorry for any confusion, definitely referring to allergies to rapeseed pollen (i.e. hayfever), not advocating building up tolerance by consuming rapeseed oil if you are allergic to the oil itself.

Puppypoppet Wed 10-Jul-13 16:06:04

I'm on holiday for most of the trial but sounds interesting.

Armadale Wed 10-Jul-13 16:28:30

God I get so flipping confused about stuff like this...

Sorry but aren't we supposed to be lowering our intake of vegetable oils as they are high in omega 6 which competes with omega 3 for takeup??

I thought that was the whole point-as the amount of oily fish we eat has decreased and the amount of vegeatable oils has increased, we uptake the omega 6 rather than the omega 3 so we aren't getting protection from disease through omega 3??

I'm not a biochemist but I'm pretty sure just from a general interest in science reading that studies show that the ingestion of omega 6 is inveresly related to the concentration of omega 3 fatty acids in the body??

And i'm sure the people trying to upsell another vegetable oil into the human diet are very quick to point out that it is a source of omega 3, but not quite so quick to point out that it also has omega 6 which competes with it

A quick wiki :

"Canola oil: Contains around 11% ALA (alpha linoleic acid), which is an omega 3 precursor for EPA and DHA. The disadvantage of ALA is that it must compete with LA (linoleic acid) in the conversion to longer fatty acids such as EPA and DHA. ALA converts very poorly to EPA and extremely poorly to DHA because of this competition with the omega 6 LA. It has been estimated that less than 5% of ALA converts to EPA, and that less than 1% converts to DHA. The omega 6 to omega 3 ratio in canola oil is 1:2.* However, keep in mind that the EPA is converted from ALA in a ratio of 1:20.*

To get 1 gram of EPA, one needs 20 grams of ALA. So the omega 6 to EPA/DHA ratio of canola oil is more like 8:1.

The fish oil ratio of omega 6 to EPA/DHA is 56 times better"

WilsonFrickett Wed 10-Jul-13 16:39:21

Yeah but do you cook with fish oil? I mean, can you?

Armadale Wed 10-Jul-13 16:50:20

No, I eat fish oil in fish.

But if I cook with vegetable oil then some of the benefit of that fish oil gets wasted because all the little receptors are busy with the vegetable oil, from what I can understand, which is why there is an inverse relationship between intake of veg oil and having omega 3 in the blood

Anyway, think I'll bow out of this thread now as I'm not some kind of expert grin just know enough to stay the heck away from this and be cross they are upselling it into the diet.

Incidentally the not for profit camapign is funded completely by HGCA 'the UK-wide cereals and oilseeds division of AHDB (Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board)' according to the small print on their own website.

boatclub Wed 10-Jul-13 17:00:58

Have signed up - happy to use a local product but can't imagine it fully replacing olive oil

Sconset Wed 10-Jul-13 21:22:46

wilson could you imagine the smell?! <boak>

alialiath Thu 11-Jul-13 12:52:20

Done. I'm all for healthier alternatives, as long as taste isn't compromised, and noses turned up at meal times.

I posted on MN some time ago about how to make a vinaigrette and someone who's married to a Frenchman said he makes it with vegetable oil because it's lighter than olive oil, & now I use veg oil for everything. But the Omega 3-6 info is interesting.

I too hate the fact that it turns the countryside violent yellow and has an unfortunate name. I always call it oilseed rape. Prefer sunflower oil anyway

Justfornowitwilldo Thu 11-Jul-13 15:45:10

It causes hell with allergies. We're surrounded by fields of the stuff and can't go out cycling or walking when it's out or DH gets a week long reaction. I don't react. I just think it reeks.

neverwhere Thu 11-Jul-13 16:11:02


irishtilly Thu 11-Jul-13 17:46:14

Done my daughter is allergic to many things so thought it would be worth a try

Amazinggg Thu 11-Jul-13 21:05:12

I hate it when food / big agriculture lobbies pretend they are akin to government food advisors. Actually with this lot in power, they probably are government food advisors.

I would do a lot of googling before taking this exactly as they say.

biddy1902 Thu 11-Jul-13 21:37:47

Love rapeseed oil I buy it in N.I called Broighter Gold it's one of the nicest I've tried yet. Some are very strong this ones milder.

Alidoll Thu 11-Jul-13 23:02:46

If it smells better out of the bottle than in the field or olive oil (which gives me a massive migraine if cooking with that), willing to give it a go ;)

mumat39 Thu 11-Jul-13 23:26:52

Wilson, thanks. She's doing ok. Doesn't seem to be growing out of any of the many allergies she has, but there is always hope that one day she might.
Fuckwittery, I completely misunderstood what you said, so no need to say sorry. I get confused very easily. confused

JollyShortGiant Fri 12-Jul-13 07:12:08

I also call the plant oil seed rape. I don't mind the color and it is interesting for toddlers to spot out of the far window. We live rurally so it is everywhere. But the plants affect my breathing and make me cough, so we use olive oil and sunflower oil and avoid rape seed oil completely.

pollywollydoodle Fri 12-Jul-13 08:45:37

as another wheezer, imo the last thing we need is to raise demand so that we end up growing more of this yellow menace with it's bloody annoying pollen.

JollyShortGiant Fri 12-Jul-13 12:43:32

There's nothing on the FAQs about allergies. I'm amazed nobody has asked them about that.

solebags Sat 13-Jul-13 09:05:35

Didn't realise that the vegetable oil sold in supermarkets with the yellow flowers is rapeseed oil anyway. Why don't they promote more? The low saturated fat and high smoke point make it more healthy than anything else. Also didn't realise olive oil with its low smoke point turns carcinogenic when burnt, will be definitely be making sure I use rapeseed oil for frying in future.

Armadale Sat 13-Jul-13 18:10:23

Interesting first and only post, solebags

gazzalw Sun 14-Jul-13 06:57:00

Stella in the Daily Telegraph was full of rapeseed oil recipes - yum!

Fingers crossed to be chosen for this challenge - always good to try out a new ingredient and some new recipes at the same time!

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 15-Jul-13 10:18:42

Hi - the team at have posted a response on their FAQ about allergies: here. They also have lots of other responses on their FAQ page and say "we are reading your posts and getting your questions answered as quick as we can by a Registered Dietitian who is reviewing the science.

You can also ask us questions using our ask the nutritionist tool".

Thanks to everyone who has applied.
We'll be closing off the recruitment today and choosing testers

Fraxinus Mon 15-Jul-13 20:00:29

Just seen cold pressed rape seed oil in aldi leaflet... £1.99 for 500ml. I'm sure it's delicious but I doubt it is cheaper than olive oil.

florencebabyjo Mon 15-Jul-13 21:03:56

Thanks for that, I will try with interest, but still intrigued about the low saturated fat claims. I wonder if you can make decent pastry with it? Anyone know?

JollyShortGiant Mon 15-Jul-13 21:11:42

Thank you. I appreciate that they've taken the time to respond to the allergen query.

mercibucket Tue 30-Jul-13 12:42:52

not for profit campaign indeed!!

mumat39 Fri 02-Aug-13 13:50:03

The FAQ section talks about hayfever, but nt about the fact that in countries like America where canola oil is used, there are high instances of people with a food allergy to this. Canola is their name for rapeseed oil.

Having read up a bit more about this, it was grown in places like Canada as a crop for the oil. The oil was used for lubricating engines and other machinery. It was in high demand during the war years and used in planes, tanks etc. it was never an edible oil, and even the stuff left after the oil was extracted was too unpleasant to feed to animals. I think that stuff might have been used as fertiliser. Anyway, after the war, the plant was genetically modified to make it more palatable and is now used as a food.

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