History of Camelina Oil

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The Tollund Man was a name given to a body that was remarkably well preserved in a bog and found in Denmark in 1950.  Scientific tests reveal he was likely sacrificed and buried in the bog as some sort of ritual, and that he lived in the 4th century BC.  His last meal consisted of a porridge made from vegetables and seeds including: barley, linseed, camelina, knotweed, bristlegrass, and chamomile.  It is thought that the elaborate combination of ingredients suggested that his last meal came as part of some sort of celebration.

The plant belongs in the crucifer family (Brassica), and has been called many names, including: camelina, false flax, German sesame, gold-of-pleasure, linseed dodder, Siberian oilseed, and wild flax.

During the Industrial Revolution camelina lost favor as a common everyday oil as it cannot be hydrogenated easily (turned into margarine).  It has recently “re-emerged” as a popular oil for utility and health as it contains high levels of omega-3’s (polyunsaturated fats), and is one of the highest sources of vitamin E (tocopherol) content of among natural tocopherol sources.