Daffodils herald the Spring and these days Rapeseed the promise of Summer. But this is a fairly recent addition to the English countryside isn’t it; pretty much non existent 10 years ago? In my book it is a welcome one from an aesthetic viewpoint, with great swathes of gold brightening up even the dullest of days.

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In Shropshire, my county, there seems to be a little more every year and it moves around, so different fields pop up as yellow, changing the landscape always in a beautiful way…….love the look of this stuff, but know little about it and why it is now everywhere, is it a good thing?

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Apparently Rapeseed oil (also known as Canola) was originally used in the motor industry, OK! But these days with Jamie Oliver extolling it’s virtues as a (supposedly) healthier alternative to olive oil and with a distinctive nutty taste sales are booming; providing farmers with a useful cash crop.

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It has a high burning point, which means it will retain flavour if used to cook roasties, it has half the saturated fat of olive oil, and more Omega 3, 6 and 9 than other vegetable oils. And it is “local”, Shropshire oil has a distinctive regional character they say…hmm?

Not much else grows in a rapeseed field, you would think due to the use of pesticides, but then I have seen posts saying little pesticide is used? I have seen detractors say it is an insect repellent; but there were bees, butterflies and other insects in the field near my house this morning?

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The method of extracting the oil is questioned and some people claim all sorts of detrimental health affects? I don’t know? Looks pretty though!

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