Rapeseed Oil Benefits + Side Effects

By Adriane Marie •  Updated: 11/11/22 •  11 min read

What are rapeseed oil benefits and side effects every ethical consumer must know? Here are rapeseed oil pros and cons and how buying them will impact your health, the environment, animals and laborers. 

Food is something we consume every day and if you’re like me, you do all the research you can to make sure you don’t hurt yourself, the planet, animals or others when shopping. As an ethical consumer myself, I am giving you all the info I’ve found on rapeseed oil benefits and side effects.

You are going to learn all about rapeseed oil benefits and side effects. This will include rapeseed oil benefits for your health and potential risks, rapeseed oil water footprint and rapeseed oil carbon footprint, rapeseed oil sustainability, if rapeseed oil is vegan or impact animals in other ways, and much more. 

After learning if rapeseed oil are good or bad for you, the environment, animals and human rights, you will be able to make the best choices you can the next time you buy food.

This post is all about rapeseed oil benefits and side effects that every ethical consumer should know.

Must-Know Rapeseed Oil Benefits And Side Effects

Health

Rapeseed oil health benefits may include:

Rapeseed oil side effects may include:

Additionally, rapeseed oil is…

Environment

Water footprint: moderate, it takes 4,301 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of refined rapeseed oil / 515 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of refined rapeseed oil

Carbon footprint: moderate, 2.9 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of rapeseed oil or mustard oil, a car driving equivalent of 6.75 miles or 11 kilometers

Destruction: low, rapeseed oil production is relatively sustainable, there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc.

Rapeseed oil is…

Animals

Kills: none, rapeseed oil production does not require any animals to be killed

Harms: none, rapeseed oil production does not require any animals to be used

Indirectly kills or harms: none, no animals are indirectly killed or harmed from rapeseed oil production as long as toxic chemicals have not been used, be sure to buy Non-GMO/organic, as pesticides harm and kill wildlife and ecosystems by contaminating soil, water, air and plants that animals eat

Rapeseed oil is…

Laborers

Health and safety: varies, overall, agriculture continues to be one of the most dangerous industries, farmworkers may be subject to dehydration, heat stroke, unprotected exposure to harmful, toxic chemicals and pesticides, unsafe machinery and clean drinking water may not always accessible

Living conditions: varies, laborers are often exploited, they may face tough working conditions including long hours in the sun and heat performing physically exhausting tasks, labor laws and rights may or may not be in place, even if worker protection exists, employer violations may go unreported, refugees and migrant workers are especially vulnerable to abuse and mistreatment, fearing consequences of job loss or deportation

Wages: varies, generally farmworkers earn meager wages, there are many cases of underpaid agricultural workers, wage theft and no overtime payment or benefits

Rapeseed oil…

Where does most rapeseed come from?

Rapeseed is mainly produced in Canada and Western Europe.

The majority of production in the U.S. is in the upper Midwest in the Dakotas. The world’s top rapeseed exporting country is Canada, followed by Germany, Denmark, Belgium, USA, Netherlands, UK, Estonia, Austria and Australia.

Is rapeseed oil nutritious?

Rapeseed oil is high in unsaturated fats and vitamins E and K and contains omega-3 to omega-6 fats.

rapeseed oil is neutral. rapeseed oil benefits include fitting into an alkaline diet.

rapeseed oil benefits include fitting into an alkaline diet.

Is rapeseed oil alkaline or acidic?

Rapeseed oil is neutral.

What is the pH level of rapeseed oil?

Rapeseed oil has a 7.0 pH level once digested.

When you eat food, it breaks down to an ash residue that can be neutral, acidic or alkaline. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, silver, copper and iron produce an alkaline ash; whereas sulfur, phosphorus, chlorine and iodine, which are found in meat, coffee, dairy and alcohol, leave an acid ash.

Going alkaline easier than ever with this: Acidic and Alkaline Foods List

rapeseed oil is gluten free. rapeseed oil benefits include fitting into a gluten free diet.

rapeseed oil benefits include fitting into a gluten free diet.

Is rapeseed oil gluten free?

Yes, rapeseed oil is gluten free. Rapeseed oil does not contain gluten but oil with added flavor or spices may contain gluten. Rapeseed oil is made from seeds, therefore making it a naturally gluten free food. 

While celiac disease may not be as rampant as many marketing trends lead us to believe, you may have a gluten sensitivity…

Celiac and gluten sensitivity symptoms are similar and may include:

There are hundreds of potential symptoms, many of which are also symptoms of other conditions.

Going gluten-free easier than ever with this: Gluten and Gluten Free Foods List

rapeseed oil is not a common food allergen. rapeseed oil benefits include being safe for most.

rapeseed oil benefits include being safe for most.

Is rapeseed oil a common food allergen?

No, rapeseed oil is not a common food allergen. Some people may experience allergic reactions to rapeseed oil but it is relatively rare by comparison.

A group of the eight major allergenic foods, AKA the Big-8, include:

Severe food allergies can be life threatening. Following ingestion of a food allergen, a person with food allergies can experience a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. 

Persons may still be allergic to and have serious reactions to foods other than the eight foods identified by the law.

Be aware of common dietary restrictions and food allergens with this: The Big 8 Most Common Food Allergens List

rapeseed oil has a moderate water footprint.

water footprints of food and products

Does rapeseed oil have a high or low water footprint?

Rapeseed oil has a relatively moderate water footprint compared to other foods.

What is the water footprint of rapeseed oil?

It takes 4,301 liters of water to produce 1 kilogram of refined rapeseed oil / 515 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of refined rapeseed oil.

Did you know that water is a finite, non-renewable resource? Once it’s gone, it’s gone!

How much water does it take to produce an apple? A serving of rice? A steak dinner?

We need to be aware of “water footprints”. That is, the amount of fresh water utilized in the production or supply of goods we consume. As it turns out it takes significantly more water to yield foods that come from animals than foods that come from plants. Imagine how much water a cow needs to consume to generate a piece of beef. Not only how much water a single cow drinks, rather all the water that went into producing the crops that the cow ate.

Find out how much water your food consumes with this: Water Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

rapeseed oil has a low carbon footprint.

carbon footprints of food and food emissions

Does rapeseed oil have a high or low carbon footprint?

Rapeseed oil has a relatively moderate carbon footprint compared to other foods.

What is the carbon footprint of rapeseed oil?

It takes around 2.9 kg CO2e to produce 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds of rapeseed oil or mustard oil, a car driving equivalent of 6.75 miles or 11 kilometers.

Food not only has a water footprint but also a carbon footprint, known as CO2e, which stands for carbon dioxide equivalent. Since carbon measurements are a bit more difficult to comprehend, it is common to equate CO2e to the distance which a car drives in miles or kilometers.

When calculating carbon emissions, some factors may include…

But that’s not all!

It’s best to keep the following in mind when grocery shopping:

Find out how much carbon your food emits with this: Carbon Footprints of Foods and Ingredients List

rapeseed oil is sustainable.

sustainable shopping, for eco friendly brands and products good for the environment

Overall, is rapeseed oil eco friendly? Is rapeseed oil sustainable?

Rapeseed oil production is relatively sustainable since there is no known significant damage to air, water, land, soil, forests, etc. as long as pesticides have not been used. Be sure to buy non GMO/organic, as toxic, chemical pesticides contaminate air, water, soil, etc. when using regenerative practices.

A 2018 Oxford University study – which is the most comprehensive analysis to date of the damage farming does to the planet – found that ‘avoiding meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your impact on Earth’ as animal farming provides just 18% of calories but takes up 83% of our farmland.

Consuming animal products and byproducts is not environmentally friendly and is one of the worst things for the Earth. Not only is meat production wasteful, it causes enormous amounts of pollution. The industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change.

Read more about ‘What Makes Food Sustainable Or Unsustainable?’

rapeseed oil is vegan.

benefits of vegan food to eat on a vegan diet which helps save animals

Is rapeseed oil vegan?

Yes, rapeseed oil is vegan. Rapeseed oil is the oil made from seeds of a rapeseed plant and not an animal product or byproduct, therefore making it a vegan food. 

Animals of factory farms and the livestock industry are suffering. They live in horrific conditions that often include confinement, physical abuse and unnatural environments…so much so that they need to receive antibiotics to keep from getting ill or spreading disease. They’re also injected with growth hormones to become fatter faster and live short lives, being slaughtered as soon as they finish growing and are killed prematurely, well before their natural lifespan.

Because we cannot see for ourselves how these animals live and what they endure does not mean it isn’t happening. The meat, poultry and dairy industries do everything they can to distance us from knowing how our food comes to be in order to keep us in the dark about what we support each time we buy animal derived products and byproducts.

Go vegan for animals!

It’s the best way to help animals and it’s not as difficult as you may think. Speak for animals with your actions, for they cannot speak at all.

Going vegan is easier than ever, at a glance with this: Vegan and Non-Vegan Foods List

rapeseed oil is a product that may or may not have labor issues.

benefits of buying fair trade, labor rights, human rights and workers rights issues

Is rapeseed oil a product with labor concerns?

At this time there have been no major concerns with rapeseed oil production but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening! It’s important to stay aware of human rights concerns and worker exploitation that may come with specific brands.

Did you know the single largest employer in the world is agriculture? The labor involved behind each and every product cannot go unrecognized. 

Some known problems include workplace health and safety, child labor, gender inequality, inadequate pay, wage theft and exploitation. Workers can even experience harassment, humiliation and violence and unfair employers often fail to provide laborers with access to shade, drinking water, restrooms and breaks. Consequently, laborers can face nausea, dizziness, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat stroke -the leading cause of farmworker death! 

Such mistreatment is like modern day slavery. Workers are often afraid to report issues because they fear it will result in losing their jobs or deportation. 

Fair trade organizations fight to ensure better social, environmental and economic standards. 

We can improve people’s lives with foods we eat every day simply by buying products that are certified fair trade. 

Be sure to read up on this list of ‘Foods You Should Always Buy Fair Trade

This post was all about rapeseed oil benefits and side effects.

Sources:

Iveagh rapeseed oil PGI specification – GOV.UK

Health Benefits of Rapeseed Oil – Wharfe Valley Farms

Rapeseed | Agricultural Marketing Service

Adriane Marie

Hi, I'm Adriane, creator of HEALabel! I organize info for you to comprehensively see how purchases impact health, environment, animals and laborers. Stay aware because you care! Subscribe below to get my weekly newsletter with tips, new info and other ethical consumer insight.

Keep Reading