Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Hay fever, Canola and poisonous flowers
There are fields in the north of England, glowing the most brilliant yellow. As a therianthrope, I'm often getting hay fever this time of year. I'm sneezing and have a runny nose. Up and down the country there are crops with such bright, beautiful golden flowers like those around me. The fields are of luminous yellow like the shining halo yellow of the sun's rays. One can only dream of dancing in those fields of rich bright flowers. I wandered there to one of the local fields of yellow flowers and I stood beside a yew tree. Bees and other insects danced there and it felt like being in a fairy glade. These yellow dreamy flowery fields are scattered like patchworks of precious gold around this part of England. So what are these amazing fields of golden flowers?
They are fields of rapeseed, or otherwise called Canola. It's grown for production. It gives us plenty of Vitamin E and Omega 3 and it has only 6% of saturated fat when other oils have 14% fat. The oilseed rape is an ingredient used in food, medicines, soap and as a form of cooking oil. It's also a less fattening substitute for butter and margarine in bread. Canola or oilseed rape (rapeseed) is different to other oils because it's cold pressed (sqeezed dry). Other oils are refined and cut at high temperatures.
Some people believe that Canola is not fit for human consumption and should only be used for industry. Canola is related to the mustard plant family and rapeseed has been used in cooking for centuries. There are many For and Against debates about this but there is a lot of negative feeling towards this particular plant. I personally think this debate is endless but we're given a choice. Some say sugar is bad for our health while others insist we don't have enough. Now salt is apparantly no good either and yet our bodies need some amount of salt. People are taken in by eating "5-a-day" portions of fruit and vegetables but dentists say too much of that causes tooth decay! Canola is a diet that gives us an amount of vitamins and omegas. Also this plant isn't popular because it's considered a "gmo" export and it makes some people feel a bit scared to touch it (although they probably eat chocolate and drink tea). Canola comes from a natural plant that has benefitted human beings since time began. It's like a turnip or a potato or a tomato and possibly bread, even!
Oilseed Rape (Canola)
The Canola blossoms are scented like burnt honey. And just like any other plant, Canola pollen causes hay fever. This season is when I have rhinitis because of pollen floating in the air or it's from household dust. Pollen from trees, grass, weeds and dandilion seeds.
"Win the war against allergies" (One of my favourite TV commercials)
Canola is quite safe and edible. It looks golden and lovely in fields, and people may find them strangely luminous. There are far more dangerous gold flowers to worry about such as these: Yellow orleander, calla lily, daffodils, horse chestnut, Laburnum, pyrethrum and yellow starthistle. Most people assume that daffodils are harmless because they appear at the beginning of Spring and last a while into Summer, and they look nice in gardens or in vases. But the truth is daffodils are really quite noxious flowers. Their bulbs contain an alkoloid that will cause an illness if eaten. This site shows you more about other poisonous plants and flowers: Poisonous Plants