by Dale Johnson, Owner
Got a chance to attend the Family Farmed Good Food Festival in Chicago this past week and came away with a new realization of all the benefits of local food. In addition to tasting the many offerings at the event, I had a chance to attend several workshops focusing on locally produced food.
One of the most widely recognized promoters of local food in the Chicagoland area is Chef Rick Bayless. His restaurants feature food purchased mostly within a 250-mile radius of Chicago. He credits the wild popularity of his restaurants not only with his ever-changing menu, but how great local food tastes. This local food is picked and delivered fresh to his restaurants for him to prepare. We love supporting his restaurants, and not just because he uses Century Sun Oil!
During his opening presentation at the Good Food Festival, he talked about something as important as cooking with (and eating) delicious, healthy, nourishing food ingredients -- a healthy local economy! Rick has lived in Mexico and other parts of the world and according to him, the most economically vibrant areas are those that use local foods, prepared with the ethnic flare of that region!! Not only for tourists to enjoy, but the local people in those regions are noticeably healthier & happier!!
Locally produced food does indeed create local jobs -- not just in the food sector, but in many areas of manufacturing and other service industries. Healthy food grown locally by healthy people working on healthy, living soils sounds utopic, but shouldn’t that be a goal of all of us producing food? Everyone talks about food scarcity and starvation around the world, but the truth is the world is producing TWICE what the population can eat right now! And with millions of acres still being idle from farming, you have to ask: Why is this happening?
Truth is local food can’t be manipulated or purposely kept away from people for political reasons! Big Ag wants you to believe that bigger farms producing more and more corn, soybeans and one variety of wheat is what the world needs! Nothing could be further from the truth.
Here at Century Sun Oil, we believe that knowing where your food (especially your cooking oil) comes from not only is healthier, but creates good, local jobs, & supports local smaller farms which keeps money local also! If it matters to you -- we want to be a part of your local food purchasing plans!
by Dale Johnson, Owner
We continue to hear about these health care professionals and doctors saying to never cook with sunflower oil. I’m sure these are very well meaning and highly educated professionals that are simply reading dated information about the sunflower oil industry.
Many advancements in sunflower plant breeding have been happening in recent years, which doesn’t receive the press it deserves. One such advancement has been variety-specific sunflower oil seeds. This new breeding of sunflowers has been around for a relatively short period of time, and are NOT the result of genetic engineering or genetic modification. Seed hybridization has been practiced since the mid 20th century - see this great article for in depth information.
The advancements in sunflower oil seeds began by changing the original oil profile of sunflowers from an omega 6 (linoleic acid) to a mid oleic acid oil. From there, a high oleic acid oil was hybridized, which has proven to be one of the most healthy cooking oils on the market.
Similar to olive oil, this new high oleic oil has many advantages over the very popular olive oils. High heat cooking, very long lasting fryer life, and high levels of Vitamin E are just a few of the advantages of this new sunflower oil.
In conclusion, if you hear anyone talk about sunflower oil and it’s uses, make sure they know which variety of sunflowers they’re talking about! Not all sunflower oil is the same! Century Sun Oil partners with Midwest farmers that grow ONLY these specific organic seeds to insure the integrity of the product we produce.
Grown, processed and bottled in the USA by the gang at Century Sun Oil ………… if it matters to you!
This is the first step in the production process of our certified organic, high oleic sunflower oil.
Here's our new sunflower seed bin from Schuld Bushnell in Illinois! It's 30 feet high and holds 1100 bushel of sunflower seeds (approximately one semi load). This upgrade helps us increase our efficiency during harvest season, as we are able to now store and clean seeds shortly after harvest.
Our local newspaper, the Green Bay Press Gazette, came out to our facilities last week to interview us about an article featuring our organic, high oleic sunflower oil. The printed article appeared in the Sunday Business Section (FRONT PAGE) on May 29th! If you missed the print version, here is the link to the online version. The Press Gazette distributes nearly 81,000 copies of their Sunday paper! (According to December 2014 statistics.)
Chicago Farm Report has featured us in this article!
By Dale Johnson, Owner
Integrity seems like a simple term to define and understand, yet in today's world it seems to be more and more a gray area.
Being a mid-baby boomer (born in 1955), I was raised to believe that everyone had a great level of integrity, especially the companies that produced our food. Every bit of information and advertisements put out by these organizations were true and factual, benefiting the consumers, and having our best interests in mind.
Through the years, I've come to realize that sometimes profit has clouded the integrity of a lot of good businesses, putting that profit ahead of producing a good, safe & healthy product. (Which sometimes costs a little more.)
I've read a lot about the cooking oil business the past several years and how changes have occurred which affect quality, safety and health benefits. Around 1980, industry learned how to hydrogenate cooking oils rapidly, which was touted as a great improvement. What they did was run hydrogen gas through a large upright vat of oil to stabilize it, and give it a much longer shelf life. What they failed to test was how it affected the quality of the oil during use.
The process ends up creating a very dangerous reaction when heating it, making unstable molecules, defined as free radicals, which then get into our food. Since the inception of this process, cancer, heart disease and diabetes have sky rocketed!
Also, a recent expose on CBS's "60 Minutes" told of how olive oil is being manipulated and changed without noting it on the label. They ran some tests proving that even some high grade, well-branded extra virgin olive oils contained little or no olive oil at all! Where's the integrity of that company? Even our own USDA is admitting that as much as 75% of the olive oil imported into the U.S. (and I'm thinking other oils as well) are being changed in some way and not being noted on the label.
"Journalist Tom Mueller, who has researched the industry, estimates that half the oil sold as extra-virgin in Italy and 75-80 percent of the oil sold in the U.S. does not meet the legal grades for extra-virgin oil."
- according to CBSnews.com
At Century Sun Oil, we strive to maintain the highest level of integrity. We work with farmers we know, to grow only the highest grade, high oleic, certified organic seeds. We then do 100% of the processing at our facility to ensure that what you are buying in our bottles is exactly what we have on our label - certified organic, high oleic, locally-produced sunflower oil. And nothing else! Integrity guaranteed in each and every bottle; it's how I was born and raised to do business.
Sun Oil Dressing
1 Tbsp fresh ginger - chopped, diced or grated
2 cloves diced garlic
2 tsp liquid aminos, or salt to taste
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar (we like apricot or mango!)
3/4 cup Century Sun Oil
Honey is optional
Mix first four ingredients well, then slowly whisk in Century Sun Oil. Place in jar & refrigerate. Keeps two weeks or longer! Great salad dressing or marinade for fish and chicken!
Chicken Piccata - This recipe is one for the ages!
2 boneless chicken breasts, cut in strips
4 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons Century Sun Oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
Sea salt & pepper to taste
Flour for dredging
Chopped parsley for garnish
Season raw chicken with salt & pepper. Dredge in flour.
In skillet over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 1/2 tablespoons Century Sun Oil. When mixture sizzles, add chicken pieces. Do not overcrowd chicken in the skillet; cook maybe half the chicken at once (depending on your skillet size). Cook until brown, then turn and cook remaining side until brown. Do not overcook the chicken. Transfer chicken to plate and cook remaining chicken the same.
Remove all chicken from the skillet, but keep the juices in the pan. Then add: lemon juice, stock & capers. Increase heat, bring to boil, scrape bits from the pan with a wooden spoon, and cook until thick. Return chicken to skillet and simmer until chicken is done. Place finished chicken on serving platter. Add remaining butter to the sauce, whisk in for added flavor. Pour sauce over chicken, top with parsley, lemon slices and serve.
Whoa, that is YUMMY!
* Amounts of oil and butter may vary depending on the size of the chicken breasts you use.
1 cup cooked quinoa
3 1/2 tbsp Century Sun Oil
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup feta cheese
3-4 cups chopped raw kale
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove minced garlic
1/4-1/2 cup dried cranberries
salt & pepper to taste
Whisk together: oil, juice, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper. Put kale in large bowl, incorporate the dressing. Add quinoa, berries and feta. Toss, chill & serve! Keeps 2-3 days.
Optional add ons: nuts, honey, spicy mustard. Also, try adding more quinoa for a different texture!
Remember, Century Sun Oil is great for all your favorite salads and salad dressing recipes! This is one of our favorites...
Century Sun Oil Blog
Visit the Century Sun Oil Blog to learn more about high oleic sunflower oil, including recipes and other sunflower oil uses. Plus lots of information-packed articles!