Bee-friendly shopper's guide to rapeseed oil
Love rapeseed oil? Love bees? Say hello to the British farmers who make great products while also promising to protect our bees.
Cold-pressed rapeseed oil: celebrity chefs rave about it, it’s low in saturated fats and is packed full of cholesterol-reducing omega 3 which is great for maintaining healthy hearts. It’s also a versatile ingredient to have in your kitchen – perfect for cooking and in dressings.
Bees are big fans too and love buzzing around oilseed rape’s bright yellow flowers. The bad news is that if these crops are treated with neonicotinoid pesticides (sometimes called neonics), they can harm the very pollinators we rely on to make our diets varied, tasty and nutritious.
What’s so bad about neonics?
When an unsuspecting bee feeds on pollen or nectar containing these pesticides, the neonic damages its nervous system. This affects a bee’s ability to feed, fly, forage and reproduce.
Three years ago some of these pesticides were banned on oilseed rape, after scientists found they posed a threat to honeybees. But the ban is under threat and could be reversed in 2017. More about neonics →
The good news is that there are farmers growing, pressing and bottling their own delicious rapeseed oil who care passionately about our bees.
These are conventional farmers, not organic, so they do use pesticides. But they’ve taken a big step and committed not to use these bee-harming neonics on their oilseed rape crops. We think they deserve our support.
So if you're keen to support, British food and do your bit for bees, read on for more about our farmers and where to buy their cold pressed rapeseed oil.