Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Dietitian Is In: What is Camelina Oil?

When we meet someone for the first time and share what we do, it often seems to open the gateway to a game of 20 questions. “What do you think about the Paleo diet?” “It’s a good thing to give up gluten, right?” “Is a banana bad for me?” “So, do you always eat healthy?” When we’re asked these kinds of questions, we’re happy to answer them. We feel grateful that people feel comfortable enough to ask. Here's a recent question we were asked...and here's the answer!
 Question: What is camelina oil, and is it a healthy alternative oil?

Camelina oil is anticipated to be the next healthy (and popular) cooking oil. This oil is derived from a seed belonging to
 the mustard family, that has a light, nutty, and earthy flavor. Also referred to as wild flax, false flax, or gold of pleasure, camelina grows well in colder climates. It was widely grown in Eastern Europe and Russia up until the 1940s, when it was displaced by commodity crops, such as wheat and oilseed. More recently, it is making a comeback among farmers in northern areas in North America, such as Saskatchewan and Montana, as a 
low-input, sustainable
 crop that shows allelopathic properties—in this 
case, the ability to inhibit
 the growth of weeds. Aside from containing
 high levels of omega-3 fatty acids
 and vitamin E, the oil is available in cold-pressed form—a process which maintains its integrity, nutrition, and flavor. Research 
has shown positive heart health outcomes in camelina oil’s ability to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol. And since camelina oil has a high smoke point (475° F), it makes an ideal choice for culinary uses requiring high heat. Be on the lookout for this oil on your supermarket shelves; it’s a nice addition to a healthfully stocked pantry.

This Q & A was written by McKenzie for the September 2014 issue of Environmental Nutrition.


  1. Wow! I've never heard of it (or seen it!)

  2. Thanks for letting me know about camelina oil! I'll be sure to send people your way if they ask me about it.

  3. thanks for sharing this post/article. Now--where to find camelina oil? Organic? Sounds like being weed resistant might keep the herbicide level down...

  4. Hello There. I am COO with Three Farmers Products and we were the company to actually certify camelina oil for Novel Food Status with Health Canada about 5 years ago. We have been educating customers on this product for the past 4 years and I am SO happy to see you on board with assisting in promoting the AMAZING attributes of this well balanced and versatile oil.
    Our Three Farmers camelina oil can be found in over 950 stores across the country: www.threefarmers.ca