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oily questions

 
Paula Edwards
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Does anyone has experience making your own oil?
I looked a bit into olives and google says that you get more or less 20 kg per tree and out of this you get around 2 liters oil. The process of extracting it sounds a bit complicated.
That means if a family of four would need 4 liters of oil per month you would need 24 trees. That is a lot of space!
Did anyone has a try with sunflowers?
Pumpkin oil is maybe the yummiest but I reckon you need even more space. But maybe the sheep would eat the pumpkins, but what if you press the whole lot at once, then you must store the cut pumpkins for the sheep if they would eat it at all.
We have only around 6 frost free month a year so sesame wouldn't work.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I have looked into this and for me it seems like growing enough olives would take too much space and be too difficult to process.  Sunflowers grow well here but take a lot of space also.  So I think I will be stuck using animal fat if I want oils in the diet. 

BTW I tried to grow olives and killed them. 
 
                    
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Making olive oil is easier for people who can grow lots of olives. I think eating the olives straight has a number of benefits:

1) Less processing waste - some oil is going to be lost when pressing unless an expensive, hi-tech extraction method is used.
2) Other nutrients are lost when pomace is discarded (modest but significant amount of carbs, minerals, fiber)
3) Olives are much richer in phytochemicals like oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol, the oil has much less. This is one reason why the American impression of the Mediterranean diet is not so effective, IMO - simply switching to olive oil has some benefits but is lacking in terms of phytochemicals compared to eating whole olives.
4) Less work to pickle the olives, while the work of spitting the pits is spread out over hundreds of meals.
5) Portion control and calorie control is easier with whole olives. A little extra oil has lots of concentrated calories.

Lots of interest among growers for moving from individual trees to olive hedges. Easier to harvest, quicker to bear a sizable crop, and yields seem to be higher. I haven't figured out how to fit that in with permaculture design, but it is possible I think. 
 
Robert Ray
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I've purchased a piteba oil press but haven't had the time to use it. I saw it in a Lehman's catalog but was directed to e-bay where it was cheaper.
I'm anxious to try it once I get a free day.
 
Nina Jay
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Location: Southern Finland, mean annual temp +4 C, rainfall 700 mm, growing season 180 days, clay soil.
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I've looked into the health aspects of different oils and recommend in this order
1. Flaxseed oil 2. Canola oil 3. Mustard seed oil 4.Walnut oil 5.Olive oil
This is because of the omega6 to omega3 ratio. Our diets are normally too high on omega6 (from grains and legumes) and it makes sense to try not to add to this problem more than you have to.
The omega 6 to omega 3 ratio should be as low as possible, ie. you should try to get as much omega3 as possible and try not to eat excessive omega6.

The best oil in this respect is flaxseed oil (omega6 to omega3 = 0.24). Canola oil 2.00, Mustard seed oil 2.60, Walnut oil 5.08, Olive oil 13.1
Sunflower oil has no omega 3 at all, so not a very good choice in this respect, especially if you want to use it in quantities.  Hazelnut oil also zero omega3.  Other oils not recommended because of their high omega 6: Corn oil (83), Cottonseed oil (25, Grapeseed oil (696), Palm oil (45.5), Peanut oil (no omega3), Almond oil (no omega3), coconut oil (no omega3), Wheat germ oil (7.9), Safflower oil (no omega 3)

I've dreamed about making my own oil but have not come accross any options that wouldn't cost a fortune... I would like to produce my own flaxseed, but... how to dry the seed and how to make the oil? I've read some conventional books on flaxseed production and they  stress the importance of drying the seed immediately and controlling the drying temperature very carefully so as not to harm the oils.

Oh one other point. Flaxseed oil shouldn't be used for cooking. Olive oil is better for this.  Flaxseed oil can be used in salads and eaten as such.

About weight gain. Every book on nutrition seems to be about how to lose weight, but my problem is the opposite  I've always been too thin and it is very hard to GAIN weight while still eating healthily, saving money and not distroying the environment. Any tips on this greatly appreciated!!!
 
                                    
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Location: Anoka Sand Plain, MN Zone 4/5, Sunset Zone 43
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pumpkin oil seems really cool for some reason.  i'd like to know a lot more about it.  how does it taste?
 
                    
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Ninajay wrote:
I've looked into the health aspects of different oils and recommend in this order
1. Flaxseed oil 2. Canola oil 3. Mustard seed oil 4.Walnut oil 5.Olive oil
This is because of the omega6 to omega3 ratio.


If the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio is the only factor, yes, perhaps. But canola is a crop that is commonly genetically engineered; independent of the GMO issue, there is the question of how much erucic acid is present and what effect that has. Mustard seed oil has erucic acid and other chemicals that are heating and similar to monosodium glutamate (they stimulate the glutamate/NMDA receptors).

Olive oil is 'neutral' as I see it - refined olive oil doesn't to much to contribute to disease, nor to prevent it (although switching from inflammatory n-6 oils to neutral olive oil can be beneficial). Virgin olive oil is somewhat better  due to phytochemicals, but whole olives are much better.

Also, while sesame oil is not very spectacular in terms of the types of oils it contains, unrefined sesame oil or sesame seed has been shown to have very beneficial effects on high blood pressure and blood lipids when a spoon or two are consumed each day ... something other than the fatty acids is good for us (lignans, sterols, etc). Same is true for sunflowers - the isolated oil is rather inflammatory, but whole seeds have some anti-inflammatory properties due to nutrients that are not carried over when the oil is isolated. 
 
Paula Edwards
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I don't give anything on theoretical relationship of different omegas. That is because tomorrow they will find something different, according to who pays. I don't touch canola though.

As for pumpkin, I guess you need a lot of space because it is simply one of the most expensive oils you can buy. You only use it in salads, or dribble it on tomatoes with mozzarella and basil, YUMM! It is the yummiest oil you can get.

When I was a kid there was an apple press nearby, and no one pressed apples at home. But now there are less institutions and self sufficiency means that one has to be even more self sufficient.

The question is if it is worthwhile to press the own oil or not. For decent cooking one needs simply oil, you cannot do everything with animal fats.
 
Leila Rich
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Pumpkin oil is really good, but I remember it's ridiculously short shelf-life being an issue when I was a chef.
 
Burra Maluca
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ediblecities wrote:
I don't give anything on theoretical relationship of different omegas. That is because tomorrow they will find something different, according to who pays.


As far as I remember from when I read up on it, all they did is to measure the relative levels in the cell membranes.  Apparently they are laid down in the membranes according to the ratio in the diet, ie the body has no way of adjusting the ratio and 'assumes' the ratio in the diet is correct.  If you mess with the ratios in your diet, the composition of the fats in the cell membranes changes, and the properties of the membrane change accordingly, which can have profound effects on the way the body works, especially in nerve cells and brain tissue.  When they measure the levels in grass fed animals, they are way different from when they measure grain fed, so it's assumed, I think correctly, that the grass-fed levels are the 'correct' ones. 

It's one bit of research that I do actually trust (maybe misguidedly) because it seemed pretty clear cut. 
 
Warren David
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Ninajay wrote:
About weight gain. Every book on nutrition seems to be about how to lose weight, but my problem is the opposite  I've always been too thin and it is very hard to GAIN weight while still eating healthily, saving money and not distroying the environment. Any tips on this greatly appreciated!!!
Eat more meat and eggs. More milk and cream if you can tolerate them. Exercise hard with heavy weights (heavy for you) or hard going resistance bands. Walking or jogging just wont do it.
 
                    
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I've read that you can boil some oily seeds, and the oil rises to the top of the water, can be skimmed off and used for baking.  Yields small amounts, but at least it wouldn't be rancid oil.  There are a LOT of rancid oils bought and sold. 

I don't bother buying olive oil anymore, most every bottle is awful tasting and smelling, even the really expensive stuff.  From what I understand from research from both omni and vegan dietary sources, rancid oils are seriously toxic, like, in a class with trans-fats. 
 
                    
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Yes, rancidity and auto-oxidation are other reasons to eat less refined oil and more foods that contain fats.
 
                    
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Saturated fats are the most stable ones.  They also happen to be the easiest to create in a small scale in temperate climates, by raising cows or pigs for butter and lard. 
 
Irene Kightley
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In this area country folk use duck or goose fat for everyday cooking and walnut oil for salads.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Location: Oakland, CA
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I recently read The Resilient Gardener, by Carol Deppe. Her family lore suggested that they all genetically needed more food, especially meat and eggs, and she had trouble gaining weight. She was then diagnosed with celiac disease, and after giving up wheat, she quickly gained about a hundred pounds, and has been trying to lose weight ever since. I wonder how many people are in a similar situation.

If there's no straightforward solution, it's possible that herbs which affect the endocrine system might help you to gain weight. You might experiment with adding fenugreek to your diet, maybe in curries or pancake syrup, or finding a way to consume more hops, either as a tea or in beers like Lambic or India pale ale.

If there aren't reasons not to, a little alcohol before dinner might help, as well as something with sugar, salt, and fat after the meal.

Some people find that high-calorie beverages get around their bodies' calorie-counting mechanisms. Lassi, barley water, soup, fruit juice, etc. might be worth trying as a between-meals source of calories.
 
Leif Kravis
Posts: 78
Location: Toronto Canada
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Pumpkin seed oil tastes great i used to get a toasted pumpkinseed oil for salads one place i was chef at.
 
Nina Jay
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Location: Southern Finland, mean annual temp +4 C, rainfall 700 mm, growing season 180 days, clay soil.
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Jonathan Byron wrote:
If the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio is the only factor, yes, perhaps. But canola is a crop that is commonly genetically engineered; independent of the GMO issue, there is the question of how much erucic acid is present and what effect that has. Mustard seed oil has erucic acid and other chemicals that are heating and similar to monosodium glutamate (they stimulate the glutamate/NMDA receptors).

Olive oil is 'neutral' as I see it - refined olive oil doesn't to much to contribute to disease, nor to prevent it (although switching from inflammatory n-6 oils to neutral olive oil can be beneficial). Virgin olive oil is somewhat better  due to phytochemicals, but whole olives are much better.

Also, while sesame oil is not very spectacular in terms of the types of oils it contains, unrefined sesame oil or sesame seed has been shown to have very beneficial effects on high blood pressure and blood lipids when a spoon or two are consumed each day ... something other than the fatty acids is good for us (lignans, sterols, etc). Same is true for sunflowers - the isolated oil is rather inflammatory, but whole seeds have some anti-inflammatory properties due to nutrients that are not carried over when the oil is isolated. 


Very good points.  Yet one does need oil for cooking too. So I guess it has to be imported olive oil then, cannot grow olives in Finland  Well maybe I could try and grow one tree and keep it indoors during winter, but will probably take ages before the tree produces anything?

Thanks everyone who commented on the weight gain issue. It really is just my personal problem and not of any global significance ops:  Celiac disease has been checked, no signs of it. But I have tried to cut down on the wheat nevertheless, bake my own bread and use mainly oats, barley and flaxseed.

My problem is really quite simple: I don't get enough calories (I calculated them). But where to get more calories is the problem. I already eat one egg per day and I eat meat/ fish every day (twice a day). And lots of berries, fruit and veggies. The thing is I cannot afford to eat more meat or fish and don't think it is very ecological to do so either.  Milk and cream I cannot tolerate unfortunately but a little bit of cheese is OK. Carbohydrates are cheap and I love them  but it's not healthy to add more carbohydrates to the diet and I have to restrict especially wheat, sugar & alcohol because I suffer from yeast syndrome. Adding more fruit or veggies will not help as they are so low-calorie. Lassi and barley water I have never heard of, but they sound like worth a try. Soups (without cream) are very low-calorie but if I could substitute water & coffee with soup it might help a little bit.

There is one very effective way to gain weight and that is the beer-chocolate-pizza -diet  It always works. But it also results in loss of energy, skin problems, digestive problems... My system just can't handle that stuff. So I've figured it's better to be skinny and healthy. But I would really love to be healthy and normal weight!
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Weight gain is a common enough problem, that I think it's worth discussing. I have a slight concern that it's off-topic, but it relates closely to a need to produce oil, so I'll jump off from there.

Hazelnuts/filberts might be worth looking into. Maybe oilseed radishes, too.

There are guaranteed to be climate-appropriate sources of cooking oil. Maybe if you were able to keep waterfowl? An egg-laying breed, allowed to forage, will produce eggs with a good amount of omega-3 fats, and any males in the flock will produce schmaltz for frying and meat & bones for boiling. I've read waterfowl are more difficult to keep in confinement, but forage better in rainy conditions.

More peas would help. They provide carbohydrates, but also protein, and IIRC their glycemic index isn't very high. Split pea soup with some animal fat and broth can be high-calorie without including any cream.

Chocolate might be worth another look: can you tolerate milk-free dark chocolate in moderate amounts? Its effects go beyond the calories it adds, due to drug-like effects on the biological pathways that regulate appetite and satisfaction.

Also, many people report that dry fruit or fruit juice can add significant calories to their diet, when fresh whole fruit would crowd out higher-calorie foods.
 
tel jetson
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I like the idea of pumpkin seed oil.  the leaves, flowers, and flesh of the fruit are all good food for humans and other critters, which ameliorates the space-intensive drawback of the oil.

it was mentioned that the oil might spoil quickly, but what about if it isn't pressed until it's used?  will the seeds go rancid if they're dried and stored in the cool dark?

how about if the pumpkins are cured whole and stored?  I've stored pumpkins for six months without visible or taste-able deterioration, and other folks have stored them for a year or more.  that could be an awful lot of cellar space for not much oil, but again: the flesh of the fruit is useful, too.

I don't know if the Styrian hull-less pumpkins store as well as others, though.

I've never pressed pumpkin seed oil (or any oil apart from coconut), so I sure don't know how much trouble it is.
 
nancy sutton
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What about poppy oil?  Steve Solomon in the 1989 edition of his Gardenng West of the Cascades says that annual poppy seeds (P. somn. & rhoeas)  are 40 - 50% oil, and,like sunflower seeds, make a good salad dressing when ground.... ?
 
Warren David
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Ninajay wrote: I already eat one egg per day
Is it really too much to try eating two eggs?
 
          
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I make daily Flaxseed oil
by chewing a teaspoon or two of flax seeds
mixed with cottage cheese
and
keep chewing and chewing and chewing
(33 times but not less)
until its all soft and good "predigested" by the saliva...
 
Paula Edwards
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Warren, that sounds really as a recipe for hard times!

I read in one of my gardening books that pumpkins may have 100 gr seeds per fruit, if you manage to get 30% oil out of it, you would need a lot of space for your oil needs. That's maybe why it is so expensive.
I never grew the Styrian hull-less, but it might not only be a storage question, maybe the taste is not very great and I don't know if animals really love pumpkins.

In the end it's maybe the traditional way: raise some fatty animals like geese (oh the neighbours) and only use oil for salads.

I guess the traditional sunflower is the best spacewise, however, I never heard of oil radish. Or is this canola?
 
kai weeks
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I've been told olive trees grown for oil production yield typically 5-10 litres per tree per year at the Mediterranean. Being quite a small tree I think that space-wise olive trees are one of the best ways to make your own oil.
 
K. Johnson
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Location: Missoula, Montana
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Ninajay says" My problem is really quite simple: I don't get enough calories (I calculated them). But where to get more calories is the problem. I already eat one egg per day and I eat meat/ fish every day (twice a day). And lots of berries, fruit and veggies. The thing is I cannot afford to eat more meat or fish and don't think it is very ecological to do so either. Milk and cream I cannot tolerate unfortunately but a little bit of cheese is OK. Carbohydrates are cheap and I love them but it's not healthy to add more carbohydrates to the diet and I have to restrict especially wheat, sugar & alcohol because I suffer from yeast syndrome. Adding more fruit or veggies will not help as they are so low-calorie. Lassi and barley water I have never heard of, but they sound like worth a try. Soups (without cream) are very low-calorie but if I could substitute water & coffee with soup it might help a little bit. "

Nina - I have he same problem. Eat nuts. All kinds. Especially in salads, yum. Best with the natural skins/fiber on, so you don't -er- plug up.

Be well
Kathy J
 
J W Richardson
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Location: Council, ID
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There's camelina oil, good omega 3-6 ratio, doesn't go rancid very quickly due to Vitamin E content. Grows on marginal land, cold hardy, a brassica. Fairly strong flavor. They are starting to grow it commercially in Montana, there's a lot of press about it for biofuel, not approved by the FDA for food but has been used in Europe for food for 3000 years.
I've been getting olive oil from growers in CA, buying it direct online. There are a couple out there that charge a reasonable price for it and it seems quite fresh. Some offer their presses for others to use. I like Bari, the best I found for price and taste.
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