#FOODHEROES

Canola in Canada

Few things are more Canadian than maple syrup, hockey and–if you live in the countryside–the bright yellow fields of canola. Of all the crops grown in Canada, canola is not only the most profitable for farmers, but also supports 250,000 jobs nationally and contributes a staggering $19.3 billion to the Canadian economy. Recently, the healthy benefits of canola-based cooking oil have become popular and encouraged plant scientists to explore more health benefits of the crop.

Canola farmer Trevor Kwiatkowski with canola seeds on his farm in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada.

The Challenge

The health of millions of people around the world is negatively impacted by the consumption of trans fat, in the form of partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. But plant scientists in Canada have used biotechnology to improve crop traits so they produce healthier cooking oils, high in Omega 9, to replace partially hydrogenated oils and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Chef Keith White cooks with canola oil in the kitchens at the Boffins Public House, Saskatoon, Canada

The Solution

Donna Knievel is proud to be developing heart-healthy canola. “Our Omega 9 canola oil can help lead to healthier and longer lives. Through plant breeding innovations, we are helping consumers reduce their consumption of bad fats and their risk of developing heart disease,” she says. Third-generation farmer Trevor Kwiatkowski grows 1,500 acres of biotech canola every year. Most of his crops go to market to be produced into cooking oil, but he keeps some of each harvest for his own family. “We put canola oil in everything–it’s one of the healthiest oils out there!”

Boffins Public House Chef Keith White, Saskatoon, Canada