Skip to content

Regionality and sustainability in cooking oils

Vegetable edible oils are obtained from oil-rich seeds and fruits. But where do our edible oils actually come from? And what should you bear in mind when buying vegetable oils?

In the EU, mainly rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, olive oil and soybean oil are produced. Corn oil and linseed oil are also produced in smaller quantities. Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain have specialized primarily in the production of olive oil, whereas Central European countries have focused on the production of rapeseed oil, sunflower oil and soybean oil. In terms of volume, rapeseed oil has the highest share of edible oil production in the whole of Europe. In Austria, too, this edible oil is at the top of the list, followed by soybean, sunflower and pumpkin seed oil. Camelina oil, hemp oil, walnut oil, safflower oil, poppy seed oil and grape seed oil are also produced in small quantities and by smaller companies throughout Austria.

Translated with (free version)

Rapeseed oil is made from the seeds of the rapeseed plant

Where an edible oil comes from therefore depends heavily on the type of oil and the availability of the oilseeds and fruits. In any case, edible oil in Europe is one of the products that is very often imported from overseas, such as palm oil from Malaysia or soybean oil from Argentina. As with all foods, the food and origin label on the packaging of edible oils must be observed in order to identify the product’s place of origin. Edible oils that have traveled a long way, such as palm oil or coconut oil, can also be found in numerous processed products and finished products, such as margarines, cookies or chocolate creams, due to their diverse properties. Although palm oil production has been criticized for years due to environmental destruction and human rights violations, palm oil continues to be processed in large quantities in the food industry.

Palm oil is extracted from the flesh of the palm fruit

Oils & fats - high-quality, unsaturated and cold-pressed

Edible oils and fats are an important part of our diet. Dietary fats provide and store energy in our body, they are high in calories and carry important fat-soluble vitamins. They also protect our internal organs and are a flavor carrier. When it comes to cooking oils, you should ideally make sure that they are of high quality, organic and regionally produced.

What does high quality mean?

Oils are of high quality if they have a high proportion of unsaturated fatty acids and a low content of saturated fatty acids. The fatty acid ratio therefore plays an important role. Saturated fatty acids include, for example, butter, whipping cream, meat, coconut and palm kernel fat. Monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fatty acids mainly include vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and oily fish. Within polyunsaturated fatty acids, a distinction is made between omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids in particular are considered to be beneficial to health and should be included in the diet more often. These include linseed oil, walnut oil and hemp oil in particular.

Linseed oil is classified as particularly beneficial to health

More plant-based, cold-pressed and organic oils

It is generally recommended to reduce the proportion of animal fats in the diet. According to the German Nutrition Society, around one third of fats in the diet should come from animal sources and two thirds from plant sources.

The use of organic, cold-pressed and unrefined oils is not only beneficial for your health, but also makes the most ecological sense. This is because cold-pressing requires less energy than hot-pressing and no chemical additives are used. With unrefined oils, most of the valuable ingredients and aroma are retained.

So if you want to source edible oils regionally, you have a wide range of healthy, vegetable oils to choose from. Whether nutty, grassy or strong in taste – it is definitely worth trying out different cold-pressed oils from your region, paying more attention to the ingredients and integrating your chosen favorite oils into your diet.

Oily variety: It is worth trying out different regional and cold-pressed oils.


Teile den Artikel mit Freund:innen und Kolleg:innen: