[LMB] Another "kosher" question

Shalom Septimus druggist at pobox.com
Thu, 21 Feb 2002 14:22:59 -0500

On Thu, 21 Feb 2002 03:45:43 -0500, you wrote:

>Shalom, Debra, et al.
>I've got a question.  What is the status of Canola oil aka Rapeseed oil 
>(and rapeseeds) in kosher foods?  I've got allergy problems and someone 
>(I forget who) made a not quite joking comment about I'd probably be 
>healthier if I kept kosher.  I got to thinking about this when I was 
>grocery shopping last night and almost the only bread I was able to 
>find that didn't have canola oil was a Jewish rye marked (K) parve, so 
>I wondered if looking for kosher might allow me avoid this and a few 
>other items.

I don't think so. Canola oil is a vegetable oil, and is Kosher. The rye
bread's not using it was probably coincidental. ("Parve" means it has
neither milk nor meat ingredients and is therefore suitable for use with
both.) You might try some local bakeries and ask them if they bake
without canola oil. 

There's a bakery near here that bakes bread and rolls using spelt flour,
presumably for people who are allergic to wheat; I don't know if they
use canola oil or not, but they certainly have allergies on their minds,
so they might not. Maybe check if a similar product is available in your

>  Last week I was only able to find one peanut butter that 
>was safe (Smuckers Peanut Butter and Jelly). 

So-called "Natural" peanut butters have nothing in them but peanuts, and
sometimes peanut oil. Unfortunately they don't taste anything like the
commercial ones, having no salt, sugar, etc., but you can always add
that on your own. Most health-food stores I've seen have their own
peanut-butter machines: you buy X pounds of peanuts, dump them in the
top, turn the crank (or flip the switch), and collect the peanut butter
at the bottom. One place had several machines for other nuts as well;
I've often wondered what walnut butter, e.g., tastes like.

> Gh*d forbid I ever need 
>neutritional drinks like Ensure or SlimFast (I have problems with low 
>blood sugar because I don't eat enough calories, and I was looking to 
>try some of these to give me a boost on my calorie intake that wasn't 
>junk). I've not been able to find *any* of the brands that didn't have 
>canola, and some of them also have aspartame which is a two-for-one hit.

If you want, I have charts here that list all the available oral
nutritional supplements. They don't say which contain aspartame, but
they *do* list canola oil, if present, and Ensure seems to be in the
minority: most use soy or fractionated coconut oils. (And my guess is
that if it lists sucrose, it probably has no aspartame either.) Stop by
your local pharmacist and ask him to let you look in Drug Facts And
Comparisons (a standard drug reference that most pharmacies have), pages
78 thru 87. Or send me your fax number, if you have one available, and I
can try and fax you these pages tomorrow (I don't have a fax, but I'll
be at my parents tomorrow and they do).