The following information can be used in collaboration with this PowerPoint to highlight the wide range of foods produced and harvested in Scotland.
In Scotland, we grow oilseed rape, which produces rapeseed oil. Rapeseed oil is sold as a cold pressed product where the oil seeds are squashed to get the oil. We can also use heat to get the oil out of the seeds, in which case the oil produced is
called vegetable oil. Where heat is utilised to extract the oil, more oil comes out but the oil becomes denatured in the process.
In Scotland, we also produce fats. We produce butter from milk and lard from animal fats.
As a rough guide, foods high in saturated fats are solid at room temperature and tend to be derived from animal sources. Most unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and are usually vegetable fats. Further information on fats and oils and how they compare to each other can be found here
Oils are extracted by pressing or crushing the seeds of the plant.
Scottish Cold Pressed Rapeseed oil is extracted from the seeds of rapeseed plants, from the same brassica family as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower. Harvested in late summer, rapeseed plants are the ones that you often see flowering bright yellow in fields during May.
Butter is produced through skimming off the cream in milk and agitating this to get the fatty molecules to stick together and form butter. Butter is a saturated fat.
Lard is an animal fat (usually made from pig fat). The fat is removed from the body as a byproduct and ‘cleaned’ before being formed into blocks for food use.
Margarines combine oils and/or fats with water and use emulsifiers to ensure the mixtures stay together.
Oils and fats are available throughout the year.
Oilseed rape flowers in May and is harvested in September/October time when the pods have formed with the seeds inside. As the oil is bottled the product is available year round.
Some oils are hydrogenated – treated with hydrogen, to increase the stability of the fat and make its shelf life longer.
The guidance from the Eatwell Guide is to choose unsaturated oils and consume in small amounts. Further information can be found here
Growing oilseed rape as part of a rotational cropping system can be sustainable especially where insects and bees are encouraged to pollinate the crop.
Depending on where and how palm oil is produced, it has been linked to rainforest destruction which is not sustainable. There is a certification process for sustainable palm oil production
Lard is a byproduct of meat production so is sustainable in that it is being used rather than thrown away