Ban on trans fats could be boon for canola growers

AP News
Posted: Jan 25, 2014 12:39 PM

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — U.S. farmers say the federal government's recent announcement that it wants to ban unhealthy trans fats could mean big things for the nation's canola industry.

Trans fats add to food's texture and shelf life, but researchers say they contribute to 20,000 heart attacks and 7,000 deaths annually in the U.S.

Canola is primarily harvested for an oil that is low in saturated fat and used as a replacement for trans fats. Oreos are now made with canola oil.

The crop has only been in the U.S. for about two decades, but production has rocketed from a few hundred acres to around 1.7 million acres in 2012.

There's also a financial incentive. At around $10 a bushel, canola can fetch a higher price than wheat's $6 to $7 a bushel.