Oil is an integral part of cooking. The vast variety of cuisines and recipes paves the way for the inclusion of different types of cooking oils as per taste or flavour requirements. Sunflower oil, coconut oil, and mustard oil all differ in terms of their heat roasting level, the content of fat, or the flavour they generate. This variety is not sufficient in the current times of “organic preferences”. People have an increasing inclination towards organic foods and products and this trend has seeped into the market of cooking oils as well.
But What Exactly Is Organic Cooking Oil?
As you might guess, organic cooking oils are oils that go through organic processes of production without the usage of additional, artificial chemicals. Such oil production processes are more eco-friendly than the chemically induced ones.
When oils are extracted from oilseeds, the cultivation of these seeds can be carried out in two ways- using chemicals in the form of fertilizers, pesticides, etc., or using naturally occurring agro-supportive elements such as cattle dung. After the cultivation of the seeds, the extraction of oil can also be done in two ways. The first type of extraction involves the use of chemical solvents whereas the second one is carried out using an expeller machine without any chemicals.
Why should one buy organic cooking oil?
Organic cooking oils may be healthier because they are produced without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, they aim to minimize the use of synthetic inputs and reduce pollution, compared to non-organic oils and they have a more superior taste.
Regular and organic cooking oil both have a similar fragrance and taste. The difference lies in the manner in which they are produced. However, consider the example of coconut oil. Organic extra virgin coconut oil and non-organic extra virgin coconut oil are quite similar as their production process is identical. The only difference is that organic extra virgin coconut oil consists of coconuts that come from groves and are certified in terms of organic farming. Organic coconut oil has the same rich quality as extra virgin oil. But that is not the case for regular non-organic coconut oil. These are lighter in both flavour and colour as compared to their organic counterparts.
The difference between non-organic and organic cooking oils is even starker when it comes to oils extracted from oilseeds. Canola oil, soybean oil, and other such oils are organic when they are made out of seeds using organic methods of farming. The use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, etc. is entirely skipped on organic farms. Another important aspect of organic farms is that the seeds, by default, are not genetically modified. This is not always true in the case of oilseeds used in the production of non-organic oils. Oils that are made out of genetically modified seeds, might not suit every human body. Unpleasant side effects such as allergies have to be considered. Organic oils thus become a much safer alternative as there is zero involvement of GMO seeds.
How oil is extracted from the seeds also makes a significant difference. As mentioned earlier, there are two ways of extracting oil. Organic cooking oil is always produced by pressing it in the expeller machine. No artificial chemical is used in this procedure. Non-organic oils, on the other hand, have an alternative to the expeller machine. They can be extracted using a chemical solvent. Hexane is commonly used as one such solvent. However, it must be noted that not all non-organic oils use solvents.
GMO seeds are also often subjected to the expeller machine for extracting oil. Soyabean, canola, and sunflower seeds in the market are often genetically modified but are pressed in the expeller machine. The process of refining oil is the same for both organic and non-organic oils. The process involves steam injection as well as filters. There is no place for artificial chemicals at this stage.
Thus, organic cooking oil is different from its counterparts not as much in terms of taste or fragrance, but in terms of how it is produced. Mindful comparison of different aspects is essential for buying truly organic cooking oil. If you are looking for organic cooking oil uncompromised on quality, reach out to us at Conscious Food.