The Big Problem Trader Joe's Fans Have With Its New Chimichurri Sauce

Yesterday, Trader Joe's fans experienced a momentary excitement bump. Two Instagram accounts, Trader Joe's New and Trader Joe's List, discovered that the store now offered their own branded chimichurri sauce. Trader Joe's List described in its caption, "From veggies to seafood to meat it adds the bright flavors of cilantro and parsley with the tang of vinegar and the savory notes of garlic and the spice of red pepper!" For $3.99, you can supply yourself with an 8-ounce tub of the stuff.

However, as one commenter noted on the post, no amount of rapturous description could survive an inspection of the ingredient list. "Initially I was excited when I saw olive oil but then quickly was bummed out by the canola oil addition," they wrote. Or, as another person put it, "Whhhhyyyyyy canola oil?" A third vented frustration, asking "whyyyy does everything in Trader Joe's have canola oil?"

Canola oil is the fourth most prevalent ingredient in the chimichurri sauce, after cilantro, an olive oil blend, and parsley. While Trader Joe's may have hoped to squeeze out attempts at homemade chimichurri with convenience, a large segment of people will continue to make their own. That way, they can ensure canola oil is not present. 

Why do people hate canola oil?

So, once again, a hatred for canola oil is aired. By this point, the fact that canola oil is bad for you is a largely accepted truth, but by accepting it, we forget why it is true in the first place. According to Healthline, there are inconclusive studies that say canola oil can contribute towards various conditions and studies that say it doesn't. More concretely, canola oil can contain trans fats and omega-6 fats. It is also a heavily processed substance, which never bodes well.

Dr. Guy Crosby offers the Harvard School of Public Health a balancing view, however. He agrees that canola oils have trans fats but notes that all deodorized oils contain trans fats. He continues, "Deodorization is the final step in refining ALL vegetable oils. This process produces the bland taste that consumers want." Ultimately, he doesn't say you should guzzle canola oil but should build variety into your diet.

Moreover, the Center for Science in the Public Interest explains that the heart concerns people have over canola oil is due to confusing it with rapeseed oil. Rapeseed oil, to which canola oil is related, damaged the hearts of rat subjects. Sean O'Keefe, a professor of food science at Virginia Tech, clarified, "Researchers realized that their data was accurate only for that inbred rat and certainly not for humans."

So, if you want to use some of Trader Joe's chimichurri sauce, go ahead.