For decades nutritionists have been telling us that there's a difference between good fats and bad fats in our diets. Saturated fats and trans fats can lead to things like weight gain and clogged arteries, while mono and polyunsaturated fats can actually be good for us.
"Cotton seed is valuable not only as a livestock food product, but it's also good for people food," Bob Stanley said. "We've got the big oil mill here in Lubbock that produces a lot of cotton seed, and snack food for years has been fried in cotton seed oil."
Bob Stanley with the Cotton Board said that cotton seed oil is about 70 % good fat, or the unsaturated kind, while it also has advantages in flavor stability, making it a smart option for cooking.
"It's a great oil to cook with, it's very neutral in flavor, yet it has a real high smoke point," Stanley said. "You can heat it up to 450 degrees before it smokes, so it's a very light, healthy oil to use for your cooking."
And in an effort to promote the healthy advantages of cotton seed oil, one Wisconsin company called Acala Farms is taking the oil to the next level.
"They have taken cotton seed oil and they're infusing it with different flavors, so it's kind of a gourmet cooking oil," Stanley said. "You can use it to put on salads, use it as marinades, add it to your favorite meat or fish, and give lots of different flavors."
In fact, all of the oil Acala Farms is using originates right here in Lubbock, Texas, allowing producers to enjoy the fruits of their labor along with other consumers.
"We've got everything from smoky chipotle to a habenero lime, to a fried shallot," Stanley said. "The oil that they begin with comes from the Pyco oil mill here in Lubbock which is the largest provider of oils here in the country, so that's where the oil originates from."
Currently Acala Farms gourmet cotton seed oil is only available on line, but they're working hard to market the Lubbock-based product in our local grocery stores to give customers one more home-grown healthy choice.