We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Rapeseed?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Rapeseed is the seed of the rape or rapeseed plant, a member of the mustard family. Unfortunate associations with the name of this plant aside, the plant is actually a major crop in many nations of the world, with the seeds being one of the principal components of the crop, although some cultures also eat the stalks, leaves, and flowers. For those who find the common name “rape” a bit offputting, this plant is also known as oilseed, rapa, rapaseed, or Brassica napus, more formally.

As the name “oilseed” suggests, the seeds of this plant are very high in oil. They can be ground into nutritious meal used in animal fodder, or pressed for the oil, which can be used for human food or in the production of biodiesel. The greens are also popular in Asia, where they are eaten like other members of the Brassica genus, in a variety of dishes. Like other Brassica species, the greens have a slightly peppery bite.

There are two main types of rapeseed oil. Industrial oil is the sort used to produce fuels, lubricants, and so forth. Canola is a special cultivar of the plant, used to produce food-grade oil. While canola and rapeseed are technically the same species, the cultivars have some marked genetic differences. Most importantly, canola, a contraction of Canadian Oilseed, Low-Acid, is low in erucic acid, a substance that is toxic to humans in large amounts.

The United States, Canada, India, China, Australia, and European Union all grow rapeseed, and visitors to farming regions in these areas of the world often note the fields of tall stalks and bright yellow flowers in the fall and winter. Many countries use genetically modified versions of the plant that have been specially designed to resist herbicides, with the goal of making farming easier. Some people have protested this, arguing that herbicide-resistant crops and genetic modification of crops have serious ethical implications which are not being addressed by the companies which develop them.

Rapeseed oil has both omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, leading some people to suggest that it is a very healthy oil. Studies have also linked it with some health problems, however, which would indicate that a closer analysis of the oil for human consumption may be in order. Because the oil is often heavily treated so that it will not go rancid, some of the health benefits may be moot, thanks to the high temperatures and chemicals used in processing.

The name of the plant derived from the Latin rapum, which means “turnip,” and it has been used since the 14th century. In the other sense of the word, “rape” is derived from rapere, “to take by force,” and it dates to 1481.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon1001746 — On Jun 16, 2019

"Canola is a special cultivar of the plant, used to produce food-grade oil. "

But it has to be heated to a temperature exceeding 600 degrees F. So what exactly is left of anything "healthy" it may have contained?

By anon959462 — On Jul 04, 2014

It is also the first GMO redesigned by Monsanto with Roundup. So you need to know if it is natural or GMO. Study carefully before consuming.

By anon340612 — On Jul 04, 2013

This past spring while touring the countryside we came across a 'yellow field' of something I had never seen on our farmlands here in eastern NC. Well 'now I know.' I did some searching because a chat room friend in Canada spoke of 'Canola' and also rapeseed. The 'wonders of the internet.'

By anon333630 — On May 07, 2013

If natural rapeseed oil is considered mildly toxic to humans because it contains erucic acid, then why is almost everything in the health-food stores contain it? It's no better than soy oil.

By anon257471 — On Mar 27, 2012

It also is linked to scleroderma.

By anon184238 — On Jun 07, 2011

It could appear that our current, and very serious, honey bee problems may well be the result of genetically modified food crops.

By alex94 — On Jul 22, 2010

Natural rapeseed oil is considered mildly toxic to humans because it contains erucic acid. It is fine as a food additive in smaller doses. Rapeseed produces a large amount of nectar. From the nectar, honeybees produce a lightly colored, peppery honey. It has to be extracted immediately after the processing is complete because it quickly granulates. The honey is usually blended with milder honeys for table use.

By CellMania — On Jul 22, 2010

Some more facts on rapeseed: In India, it is grown on 13% of their cropped land. It was the third leading source of vegetable world in the world in 2000, after palm and soy. Rapeseed is also the world’s second leading source of protein meals. In Europe, it is primarily cultivated for animal feed because it has a very high lipidic content.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.