Why Canola Oil is Not the Healthy Oil You’ve Been Led to BelieveWe can trace olive oil back to olives and sesame seed oil back to sesame seeds, so wouldn’t it make sense that canola oil would come from canola seeds? Well, it’s not the case. There is no natural canola plant that produces canola oil. In the late 1960s canola oil was invented in Canada. The oil was cheap to manufacture and a dominant ingredient in many processed foods. A derivative of the rapeseed plant, which is part of the mustard family of plants, canola oil has been hybridized to eliminate the lethal erucic acid found in rapeseed. The name was changed to LEAR: Low Eruric Acid Rapeseed. LEAR was not well received in the US as its association with rapeseed was too glaring. Not to mention having the word “rape” in a product name, which did not promote a healthy image. In 1978 the food industry merged the words “Canada” and “ola” meaning oil – creating the name Canola Oil.