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Cottonseed oil

  1. Oct 1, 2005 #1

    Math Is Hard

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    I love to eat those smoked oysters in cottonseed oil and it looks like the oil is reasonably healthy. I've read that it's one of the most unsaturated oils, comparable to safflower oil and corn oil.

    But then I read on another website that it might be very unhealthy because of all the pesticides used on cotton crops.
    What do you think?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2005 #2
    Ooooh. I think the pesticide concern is more likely to be harmful, than any health benefits from lower saturation. IMO.

    Me, I love sesame oil. Intense.
     
  4. Oct 2, 2005 #3

    Math Is Hard

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    Thanks, Patty. How ironic that your answer came just as I popped open a tin of smoked oysters!! I will have to see if anyone makes them in any other kind of oil. So far I have only seen them in cottonseed oil and water.

    Or maybe I could buy the water packed kind and put them in some other kind of oil. In water alone, they just don't taste as good to me.
     
  5. Oct 2, 2005 #4

    Moonbear

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    Well, it took a heck of a lot of digging to find a source on this other than sites that al seem to be parroting the same information without citing any sources for it. I'm surprised that with so many sites stating this as fact, it's so hard to find any reputable place that actually addresses the question (I figured I'd find it at Ag Extension sites if they get asked the question often)...usually that's where I can dig up this sort of information (and is where I found the one, almost equally unsatisfying answer...but it is a newsletter...I would have preferred a technical paper showing testing is done and what the outcome is). I have one more place I'll try searching tonight and will get back with the result if I find anything.

    http://outreach.missouri.edu/hesnutrnews/fnr88-97/fnr89-9.htm
     
  6. Oct 2, 2005 #5

    Math Is Hard

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    Thanks, MB. That's one of the things I was curious about - if there was any process involved to remove the pesticides from the oil. It seemed like it would be virtually impossible, but I guess not. I had no idea that oils were "deodorized".

    That first site I quoted, well, it's obvious why they would say nothing but good things about cottonseed oil. And then the second site- well, they have a good point, and it seemed logical, but it's hard to know how scientific their information is. I never know who to trust, so I thought it would be best to ask some biologists like you and Patty.

    I am trying to be more careful about believing what I read on the internet and hear on the news. For instance, I had bought into all the hype about how terrible Olestra was, until I actually learned what it was in biology class. Now I think it's a pretty amazing product.
     
  7. Oct 2, 2005 #6

    Moonbear

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    The disappointing thing is that I can't find anything about how they process it in order to corroborate that article. I'm just surprised how hard it is to find information on this...refuting, supporting, anything remotely scientific. I even checked Agricola, which is an index for agricultural literature (I don't often use it because the information I'm looking for usually comes up with a pubmed search, but once in a while it's good to pick up stuff from a purely agricultural perspective), and nothing relevant came up in that search either (my first attempt came up with nothing, so broadened my search terms and still only came up with 5 articles, none of which were relevant to this question).

    I'd like to assume that this means that it is such a complete non-issue that nobody has bothered doing any studies on it, but I can't rule out that it's not out there somewhere and I'm missing it. I'm finding more on Monsanto's genetically engineered cotton crop that's supposed to reduce the need for pesticides by the introduction of a gene that gives it resistance to boll infestation. I don't know how common that crop is, or if it's even being commercially grown yet.

    Anyone here from a cotton-producing state who knows anyone they can ask about this?
     
  8. Oct 3, 2005 #7

    DocToxyn

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    I'm sure that Moonbear has exhausted many of the search directions that I would take on this topic, so I'll just give my thoughts on this and then post again if I find anything further.

    I can't imagine that there aren't some FDA regulations on the quality of cottonseed oil used for human consumption. I really can't buy that line about "cotton is not a food crop, therefore is not subject to the same restrictions as to pesticide and fungicide levels" :grumpy: . Perhaps there are regions of the US that do use significant amounts of pesticides in their cotton idustry, but I doubt that also cater to the human food side of the equation.
    The analytical tests for pesticide residue in food likes oils, etc are rather routine types of analyses and I would imagine are done on a regular basis. If there were outrageously high levels of pesticides in such a food product, it would have been discovered some time ago and rectified. I would think that any risk associated with these foods is no greater than any other commercial food product. One might be more concerned about the by-products from the smoking process....hhhmmm, maybe I'll look that up too.
     
  9. Oct 3, 2005 #8

    DocToxyn

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    Here's what I found on the EPA side of things.

    I know it's a lot of jargon and such, but it basically seems to state that cottonseed oil for human consumption is regularly monitored for pesticide content and currently does not exceed the limits established by the powers that be. Here's the link to the page if you really want to examine the whole document.
     
  10. Oct 3, 2005 #9

    Moonbear

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    Thanks for hunting that down. I suspected something had to be out there...it wouldn't make sense for something entering the human food chain to NOT be regulated. Glad you found something to support that. :smile:

    I found a lot of sites claiming cottonseed oil can be used as a bug repellant...one site recommended mixing it with dish detergent to spray on plants....for what it's worth.
     
  11. Oct 3, 2005 #10

    Ouabache

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    This certainly has opened a virtual can of worms regarding how much the EPA or USDA are doing as watchdogs for our health. Kudos and accolades to DocToxyn & Moonbear for their persistence in researching this question.

    Though I noticed in DocToxyn reference, it only refers to the one pesticide oxyfluorfen (an herbicide*).

    There are actually a multitude of pesticides used on cotton. Such as the insecticides: "aldicarb, phorate, methamidophos and endosulfan" ref. herbicides (besides oxyfluorfen) mentioned on that reference include: bromoxynil and ioxynil.
    Other herbicides that may be used on cotton include: paraquat, quizalofop, dimethipin, tribufos, ethephon and sodium chlorate & diuron ref. Then we have fungicides such as: chloroneb, metalaxyl,Vitavax, Terraclor (Pentachloronitrolbenzene), Apron (mefenoxam)ref. Other fungicides on cotton include: Iprodione, Etridiazole ref There are rodenticides: warfarin, coumatetralyl, difenacoum, brodifacoum, bromadiolone, calciferol and zinc phosphide ref and nematicides: Telone II, Temik 15G, Nemacur 15G ref.

    I suspect we are only seeing here, the tip of the iceberg of pesticides used on cotton.. Hopefully EPA and USDA are keeping tabs on how much of each, are allowed into foodgrade cottonseed oil.

    Glossary:
    *herbicide: kills undesired plants in the vicinity of cultivated crops, that compete with cultivated crops for nutrients, water and sunlight...
    insecticide: kills bugs
    fungicide: kills fungi
    nematicide: kills nematodes
    rodenticide: kills rodents
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2005
  12. Oct 3, 2005 #11

    Moonbear

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    That could be one reason it's so hard to find information searching just on "pesticides" and "cottonseed oil". It might be that the articles are listed by each individual compound used, and possibly under the chemical formula name rather than brand names, so our searches just aren't turning over the right leaves.
     
  13. Oct 3, 2005 #12

    Evo

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    Well, I love smoked oysters & mussels, so I'm just going to risk it. I probably get more pesticide on me from dousing my rose bushes in one day than eating smoked oysters every day for the rest of my life.
     
  14. Oct 3, 2005 #13
    My instinct is pure gut reaction. I don't think you're likely to be benefiting from the reduced saturation of cottonseed oil.... and on the other hand my gut reaction (unscientific) is that some pesticide residues *could* end up in plant products. (Evo's point about applying pesticide ios a good one, and so the levels in a tin of oysters is probably negligible. )

    Moonbear: did you search pubmed? I got a fair few hits when I looked for "cottonseed oil" pesticide.... But many were from other countries or had no abstracts.

    MIH: Hmmm. Oysters.... I have become wary of seafood in general with regards to the mercury levels that are being found in some of the higher tropic level seafood like tuna. I love smoked trout - but my gut pipes up again and tells me that it will be the mercury in the trout, not possible residues in the cottonseed oil, that are harmful.

    Lower food chain animals, like oysters, are probably still fine in regards to mercury levels.
     
  15. Oct 3, 2005 #14

    Moonbear

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    I hadn't until now...just a hunch that I was either going to pull up a bunch of stuff where cottonseed oil was used as a delivery vehicle, and that it wasn't going to bring up anything related to the oil itself. I just tried a search now using cottonseed oil pesticide residue and came up with 13 articles, all but two of which are older than 20 years old, and none of them have abstracts, and not all of them seem to be relevant, and yes, most are in non-English languages, so nothing I can read or relevant to US agriculture.

    I would think the USDA and FDA would be regulating this; even if it's a by-product of another industry, as soon as it hits the human food chain, it should be falling under the oversight of one of those two agencies.
     
  16. Oct 3, 2005 #15

    Math Is Hard

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    I know I sure as heck won't eat any raw oysters anymore. The smoked ones get cooked after they are sealed up in the can so I think they are OK. My mom decided to prepare some oysters on the halfshell for my stepdad once when they were dating. That romantic dinner resulted in CHOLERA!!! :surprised

    I probably am ingesting a lot of mercury. I worry about that sometimes. I love seafood. I also wonder how soon fishing will resume in the Gulf of Mexico, and if people will end up getting sick if they start up again too soon. That water must be pretty polluted near the coast now.
     
  17. Oct 4, 2005 #16
    You can always do a simple mercury or lead test. Dont they sell those in stores now?

    As for chloera, well thats just bad oysters lol.
     
  18. Mar 5, 2009 #17
    Hi PF Mentor,
    The cottonseed plant was ‘grand fathered’ in as a food crop sometime in the 1970’s by the FDA here in the U.S.. All food crops are regulated as to what pesticides and fungicides can be sprayed on them to be within ‘safe’ guidelines in regards to human consumption. The Cotton plant does NOT come under any such guidelines because it was 'added' to the list as an afterthought, and no one placed it under the same rules as other food crops.

    Cotton seeds often develop a fungus while they are in storage awaiting processing into cottonseed oil. A Mercury based fungicide is sprayed on the seeds to prevent this fungus. There are no regulations on this spraying. Often the fungus is already present on the seeds and the result is aflatoxin, a fungal secondary metabolite that remains on the seeds. Gossypol is the naturally occurring poison, which is in the cottonseeds already.

    Gossypol is often defined as the deep amber ‘color’ of the cottonseed oil once it has been pressed. Gossypol is a 'color' and it is a poison in that gossypol is often used as an insect spray on other plants. Once the cottonseeds are processed the oil that is pressed from them remains a deep golden color. So on the seeds you will find Mercury, and the metabolite aflatoxin, plus within the seed is the poison, gossypol. All of these substances are in the cottonseed oil that is why it is a 'cheap' oil to manufactures of various foods. The danger of the aflatoxin is that a person can develop allergy to fungus by being made 'sensitive' from ingesting metabolite aflatoxin.

    Crude cottonseed oil with all of the gossypol remaining within, has been tested in China as a method of birth control for men. Only some of the men who ate ‘crude’ cottonseed oil in cooking, in this test, developed the inability to produce viable sperm. A side effect of this test was that the men who became sterile also developed heart disease because their bodies were depleted of Potassium. I have not found what happened to the women in this test. This test lasted from the 1920’s up to the 1980’s. The Chinese government is withholding much of the data from this prolonged test. I am a researcher on cottonseed oil because I have had a devastating life long allergy to this oil yet the cottonseed oil industry claims that since there is very little protein in cottonseed oil therefore it is impossible to be allergic to it. Twenty percent of all people in the U.S. are allergic to cottonseed oil that is why cottonseed oil is included in all skin scratch allergy tests done at professional allergist’s, full medical doctors, offices. When allergic you will get large red welts where the test is done on your skin. How they do the test is to place a drop of the substance being tested, on your skin, and a fresh needle is used to scratch your skin. With each substance that is tested a fresh, new needle is used. There are over 200 common allergens tested in the skin allergy test. It takes over two hours to do this test but is well worth the trouble to find out what is causing problems like asthma, cystic acne, and other illnesses.
    Many persons allergic to cottonseed oil get cystic acne and feel itching under the skin after eating anything containing cottonseed oil.

    Monsanto Chemical now owns Delta & Pine Land (D&PL), which is the largest cottonseed/cottonseed oil company in the World! I could easily go on with ten pages about cotton/cottonseed/cottonseed oil but I have given enough information for the ‘curious’ to do further research on cottonseed oil and the cottonseed oil industry.
    A hint here is that gossypol is being tested as a ‘cure’ for cancer, and it appears it is destroying tumors in this test, yet when rainbow trout were fed cottonseed granules for one year these fish developed carcinomas, which you know is cancer.

    In a sense I am a 'lucky' person in that I found out that cottonseed oil was causing my cystic acne, and I stopped eating everything that contained cottonseed oil including those yummy french fries from McDonald's. After I stopped ingesting cottonseed oil in all fast foods and in breads etc... my cystic acne stopped and didn't return.
    What is cottonseed oil doing to your insides, if it is not showing on the outside?

    23 curious
    .
     
  19. Mar 5, 2009 #18

    turbo

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    Thank you for the informative post, 23. There is a lot of stuff in our food-supply that is either unregulated or so loosely regulated that the rules are useless.
     
  20. Mar 5, 2009 #19

    jim mcnamara

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    23 curious

    You should cite sources for all of those claims in your post. Not newpaper articles, but something from a government publication or a scientific journal.

    Thanks.

    example of what I mean: gossypol is a poison -
    We're not here to argue, but a post with dozens of claims needs support
     
  21. Mar 5, 2009 #20
    Thanks Jim, I do have the souces and will post either later tonight or tomorrow morning. I wanted to get people interested enough to look on the Internet themselves to find the information by using the 'keywords' I provided for them. I am a certified BIS/Web Master myself and I thought this was the way to go. Thank you for letting me know how you like it to be done.
    23 concerned
    .
     
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