Oils ain't oils

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Oils ain't oils

Postby dubsola » Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:32 pm UTC

Up till now I've only ever fried things in olive oil or vegetable oil. Olive oil is a useful oil to have around because it goes well in salad dressing and as a finisher for risotto or soup, and is nice to dip bread in sometimes. And it will do ok for frying, except that it smokes at a lower temperature than vegetable oil.

Today I bought a bottle of sunflower oil which is apparently good for frying in - some people say olive oil goes from good for you to bad for you if you heat it up (don't know if that's true or not), and sunflower oil can be heated to high temperatures, according to the Wiki page. So that's good. The shop I was in also had rapeseed oil (commonly referred to as canola oil), which is supposed to be good for you as well.

Sometimes I add a bit of toasted sesame oil to a stirfry or use it in a dipping sauce.

What oils do you use on the regular, and for what purpose?
Last edited by dubsola on Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:07 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Zohar » Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:46 pm UTC

I usually have canola oil and olive oil at home, as well as sesame oil. Sesame oil I use only for flavoring. It's very overpowering and just a few drops in each plate is usually enough. I also had a truffle oil which I looooooved but it's gone now and that makes me sad.
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Bakemaster » Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:24 pm UTC

Dubs, I'm afraid sunflower oil contains mostly "bad" fats to begin with. Coconut oil is one of the worst, I've heard. Rapeseed oil, sold here as "canola" because "rapeseed" sounds squicky, is a relatively healthy oil as far as fats go because it has a higher ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.

The ability to cook at high temperatures with sunflower oil relates to its smoke point, the meaning of which is obvious. But the oil smoking at a particular temperature does not indicate anything in particular (that I'm aware) about the change in its nutritional value at that same temperature. Generally, the unhealthy change in the oil occurs long before it begins to smoke, and I'm not sure how different that point is from one oil to another.

I use a lot of olive oil. I used to use safflower oil for its high smoke point and neutral taste, until I discovered it's pretty much entirely omega-6 and no omega-3. Right now I've got peanut and canola in the cupboard next to my olive oil. Sesame oil on a shelf with vinegars and such, for sparing use in Asian cooking.
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby bigglesworth » Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:32 pm UTC

AFAIK having a higher smoke point is due to it having bad oils in it?
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby dubsola » Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:09 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:Dubs, I'm afraid sunflower oil contains mostly "bad" fats to begin with. Coconut oil is one of the worst, I've heard. Rapeseed oil, sold here as "canola" because "rapeseed" sounds squicky, is a relatively healthy oil as far as fats go because it has a higher ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids.

Is that so? I've edited the OP to show that rapeseed oil and canola oil are synonymous, but it's not at all clear from Wikipedia that sunflower oil contains 'bad' fats. I don't really know enough about it to comment.

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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby PAstrychef » Wed Jul 14, 2010 5:10 pm UTC

I have olive, canola and sesame around at all times. I'd love to have an assortment of olive oils because they taste so different, but have neither the money nor the room, alas.
Done right, deep-fried foods absorb very little of the fat they're cooked in. Sauteed foods will absorb more of the fat but you use less to begin with.
The "good" oils are monounsaturated ones. Polyunsaturated ones are not as good and saturated ones tend to be bad.
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby voidPtr » Wed Jul 14, 2010 6:04 pm UTC

My selection of oils is one of those things that make me feel silly and a bit over the top, considering most people get by with a generic bottle of whatever the cheapest vegetable oil is.

I have:

Olive oil - use for sauteing, low-medium heat cooking
Canola oil - use for grilling, pan/deep frying, seasoning pans
Peanut Oil - use for stir-frying
Extra-virgin olive oil (one cheap bottle, one expensive) - use for finishing dishes, dressings,
Sesame oil - use as condiment in stir-frys and curries

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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:19 pm UTC

We use olive oil for most frying and sauteing purposes. I remember watching Alton Brown on his Thanksgiving special talking about fried turkey, and stating that peanut oil is best for deep frying, because it can handle higher temperatures better than other oils. Sucks if you're allergic, though.
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Bakemaster » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:01 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:The "good" oils are monounsaturated ones. Polyunsaturated ones are not as good and saturated ones tend to be bad.

This changes all the time. Omega-3s, for example, are polyunsaturated, and they're the major health craze of the 21st century.
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Telchar » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:54 pm UTC

I use olive oil for most bbqing for it's neutral taste.
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Dream » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:35 pm UTC

In my kitchen there is vegetable, two kinds of olive, sunflower and a few other oils. There's also a big tub of ghee. I tend to default to vegetable unless I'm after the flavour of the olive oil. Thinking if ghee, that reminds me I have to curry something up soon, it's been too long.
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Pansori » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:39 pm UTC

I use mostly olive, canola, and sesame. I would love to experiment with oils, but they are so darn expensive! I think olive has the best taste, and canola I generally use strictly for baking, however I am thinking of trying olive oil next time. Sesame I generally only use it when I am cooking Korean food. A friend of mine buys all natural peanut butter and uses the oil off the top for her peanut oil.

I usually don't deep fry things. For some reason heavily deep fried foods give me a headache, and I do try to use my oils sparingly. I have been wondering if corn and vegetable oils are healthy, but am too lazy to google the answer. :P And I stay away from shortening like it is the plague, but a lot of the elderly people I work with only use Crisco (sometimes they like me to eat with them, and I don't have the heart to say no).

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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Bakemaster » Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:23 am UTC

Telchar wrote:I use olive oil for most bbqing for it's neutral taste.

That's an interesting comment, as olive oil is one of the more strongly-flavored oils I've come across. At least, of the oils used widely for cooking in rather than simply flavoring things. I take it you're not using extra virgin?
Dream wrote:There's also a big tub of ghee.

ROCK ON. I need to start using ghee. I'm pretty sure I can even be lazy about it because there's a local place that sells it already made. (Though the pedant in me needs to point out that ghee is not an oil.)
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby voidPtr » Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:48 am UTC

Bakemaster wrote:
Telchar wrote:I use olive oil for most bbqing for it's neutral taste.

That's an interesting comment, as olive oil is one of the more strongly-flavored oils I've come across. At least, of the oils used widely for cooking in rather than simply flavoring things. I take it you're not using extra virgin?


I used to use (refined) olive oil when grilling, but I find I have better results with canola. I presume it's the higher-smoking point, because taste-wise I can't tell the difference between the two.

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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Telchar » Thu Jul 15, 2010 5:57 am UTC

Especially in BBQ, I don't notice it at all. I use regular olive oil, as I generally only use a little bit to create adhesion between the rub and the meat where needed and it generally doesn't impart any flavor that I can tell.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Thu Jul 15, 2010 12:21 pm UTC

Extra-virgin olive oil for most low-temperature cooking. Light olive oil for all high-temperature cooking (due to its much higher smoke point). Butter for eggs, sometimes sautéing, and for anything sweet (pancakes, etc). Occasionally coconut oil (mmmm, 90% saturated fat) for Thai curries, coupled with condescending glares for anyone who tries to claim that saturated fat is bad for me.

Shit I wouldn't touch with a barge pole: Anything artificially created, like trans-fat or hydrogenated oils (typically found in margarine).

Fish oil or flaxseed oil straight up with a milk chaser for omega supplementation.
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Telchar » Thu Jul 15, 2010 3:35 pm UTC

I've actually really enjoyed expirimenting with fish oil in foods. It's definitely something that you use super sparingly, but I think it can add a lot to dishes that have mushroom or onion heavy flavors. I use it in sauteing mushrooms and in a leak and asparagus risotto.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Dream » Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:46 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:(Though the pedant in me needs to point out that ghee is not an oil.)

And the ten-year-old in me needs to point out that gee was slang for vagina when I was a kid.

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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Pansori » Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:46 am UTC

Interesting article on olive oil:

http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/07/1 ... per-mix%2F

Apparently Wal-Mart's brand of olive oil is the way to go if you want the real deal.

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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Delbin » Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:22 pm UTC

Right now I have vegetable oil for most stir-frying, some sessame oil if I'm doing something asian flavored, peanut oil if I'm doing something with high heat, and olive oil for anything I feel like. I didn't realize how spoiled I was the last few years. My dad found some olive oil on sale for $1/24oz bottle and he bought a ton of it. We finally ran out and now I have to get used to paying 7x-8x as much.

Is there any particular reason to use or not use Wesson's "Best Blend" oil? I think it's a mix of canola and vegetable oil.

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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:42 am UTC

"Vegetable" oil usually means soybean oil. As long as it's not hydrogenated, it's probably not too bad, though unfermented soy products tend to be a lot less healthy than advertised. I found one claim that soybean oil depresses the thyroid. Not sure if there's anything to back that up or not.
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby infernovia » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:50 am UTC

Ok guys, I am trying to do research on this oil stuff and I am finding a lot of conflicting reports! Since the fine folks of xkcd usually loves to research, I was wondering if you guys could help me out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flLwKQGm43A

Basically, the idea is that there is actually very little correlation between saturated fat and health problems. Now, I am not one to believe in things immediately, but it seems to be hard to disprove. Now, I don't really care about the historical crap, but it does make sense that saturated fat doesn't seem to matter much to longer life span!

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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby caligeekchic » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:11 am UTC

One oil I have used on the more "exotic" side (though still very available) is Walnut oil. I use it for toasting nuts (of all things! :wink: ), in addidtion to sesame oil in Asian recipes, and in sweets that call for oil. It is light nutty and works well in raspberry vinaigrette to! Now if you want to go as light and taste neutral as possible I recommend grape seed oil not to be confused with rapeseed oil which has a very unappealing name and an after taste I am not fond of. Grape seed oil is super light, wonderful for sauces and vinaigrettes and a myriad of other applications. It is even used in the manufacture of beauty products. My sister has a bottle of macadamia (sp?) nut oil which I have yet to see her use...

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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Ulc » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:37 am UTC

infernovia wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flLwKQGm43A

Basically, the idea is that there is actually very little correlation between saturated fat and health problems. Now, I am not one to believe in things immediately, but it seems to be hard to disprove.


Ehm, is it?

It's a youtube video, featuring the president of a charity organisation, presenting a typical "It was carefully organised by the big bad industry" conspiracy nut type of theories, based on the scientific research of a single man, in a completely different field.

The best line of argument seems to be along 'we didn't have this 2000 years ago, so it cannot be good for us' - which is first of all nonsense, secondly it's outright fabrication, thirdly it's ignoring that there might be other factors affecting our health than the difference between plant oils and animal oils.

The idea isn't hard to disprove - it does so itself within the first minute.

Edit: okay, I admit it. I didn't watch it through the first time, it was sufficiently idiotic very quickly, but now I've tried. And it just goes further downhill. I mean, "this is bad for you" followed by "this is because some of it qualities are not perfect for certain kinds of cooking".
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:32 pm UTC

You can scoff all you want at things you don't find plausible, but until you go out and back up what you're saying with science, you have zero credibility. I find your comment in general, and the attitude of "it was stupid so I didn't watch it through," to absolutely reek of garden variety internet bullshit, so you actually have less than zero credibility with me. The clip, on the other hand, establishes credibility by interviewing a doctor and a biochemist, so you've got a lot of ground to make up.

Bottom line, cynicism may be cheap and easy, but it's a poor substitute for rigorous skepticism.
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Ulc » Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:48 pm UTC

Ehm, you did notice that I at no point said anything about the subject? Possible because I don't know all that much about it.

But notice that the two experts*, does not argue for the same thing she ends up with in her conclusion. They are saying "trans fats are bad", from which she takes a couple of logical leaps and concludes that anything but animal fat is unhealthy, based on a mix of "we didn't have this 2000 years ago" and "the big bad corporations did it all! And we all know that saying 'corporations' is scary, so I'm right!".

Add in what the price foundation is NOT a organization with the publics health in mind - it is a organization with the single goal of reintroducing "nutrient density foods" (which from their view appears to mean meat) in the publics diet. Most of it's science are based on the work of a dentist, published in a book in 1939.

This is not a informational video about a scientific fact as they try to make it look like - it's a pseudo science argument.

As to whether saturated (notice the lack of 'trans-') are really unhealthy as she says? I can't tell. But this video is no kind of proof at all.

*What I can find about these two paints Mary Enig in a fairly decent light as a serious scientist. Michael Eades seems like quite the quark though, with his only accomplishment being that he has published a book called 'protein power' that basically is one long argument that "10.000 years ago we were hunter-gatherers, therefore it is unnatural for us to eat anything but meat!"

(yes, by this point I've seen it 3-4 times, it doesn't make it better, and it just reveals more flaws each time)
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:09 pm UTC

All I see is a bunch of attacks on the messenger. Let's talk about the message.

For instance, the claim is made that in clinical trials, rats developed a host of health problems after being fed canola oil. Surely if this were true, the FDA wouldn't have approved canola oil for sale in the US? I did some Googling and found a counter-argument on this site, though it doesn't cite sources either: "...the natural diet of a rat is made up of grains, raw fruits and vegetables and is very low in fatty acids. Introduce a load of heavier fats into a rat's diet and all sorts of health problems will develop. Later studies demonstrated that cooking oils other than canola (specifically, sunflower seed oil) produced the same results in laboratory rats..." Given enough time, I could probably find some of the studies in question on EBSCO, but a quick search didn't turn up much, other than a study on piglets that dealt mainly with blood cells and platelet counts.
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Ulc » Mon Jul 19, 2010 6:51 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:All I see is a bunch of attacks on the messenger. Let's talk about the message.


As I've already stated, I don't know enough about the message at hand.

But if someone releases what they obviously present as a scientific fact, it is necessary to examine the source to establish if it is a credible source or not. If they doesn't present sources, uses inconsistent arguing and/or their arguments have logical leaps, doesn't identify clearly if they are actors in a debate, uses arguments that play on fear or non-relevant information. Well, even a couple of those are enough to discredit a source usually, this video contains them all - on top of being published by a organization that have a clear goal in the debate (which is to raise the amount of animals in our diet).

Yes, it's basically a bunch of attacks on the messenger, and the way that they tell their message - because such attacks are relevant. If a source is not credible, it should not form parts of a debate.

That does not mean that they are necessarily wrong about the message.
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:02 pm UTC

You do realize this is a discussion forum where we talk about food, right?

Not a debate team?

I hope you didn't think you were registering for a debate team. We have no little plastic trophies to give out.
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Zohar » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:24 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:We have no little plastic trophies to give out.

We don't?! :O Then why have I been wasting my time here all those years??
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Telchar » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:39 pm UTC

Bakemaster wrote:You do realize this is a discussion forum where we talk about food, right?

Not a debate team?

I hope you didn't think you were registering for a debate team. We have no little plastic trophies to give out.


Making snide remarks about debating after starting an arguement.... :roll:

As for oils, I tried using vegetable oil on the ribs I made the other day to spot coat for a more consistent texture for the rub and noticed to noticeable taste difference. And since vegetable oil is cheaper....
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:45 pm UTC

If you like snide remarks, I've got plenty more, on such varied subjects as spelling mistakes and gratuitous ellipses.
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Telchar » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:21 pm UTC

In other food related news, Bakemaster says that pee in Cheerios tastes bad and makes one cranky.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.

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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:28 pm UTC

Man, that's what these fucking Western Family Toasted Oats taste like. I knew it was Cheerios and something.
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby infernovia » Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:08 am UTC

I 100% agree with you that those guys feel quacky. First of all, of course heart disease wasn't a problem back 1000 years ago. There was the black plague, war, famine, etc. I am still unsure on the results though.

So the big thing I am worried about is that unsaturated fat does seem to break down super fast. Is this true? With my absolutely limited amount of research, this seems to be the case. Unsaturated fat does seem to break apart very quickly and seems to have health issues:
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/jour ... 1&SRETRY=0

The secondary question is, why is our body not adjusted to saturated fat, considering our large amounts of consumptions of it? Edit: I have to remove any unsurity from this post. Don't wanna spread bad info.

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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:06 am UTC

infernovia wrote:I 100% agree with you that those guys feel quacky.

The Western A Price foundation are generally regarded as being quite quacky.

So the big thing I am worried about is that unsaturated fat does seem to break down super fast. Is this true?

I think it would be more accurate to say that polyunsaturated fats are more prone to rancidity than monounsaturated, and those more than saturated fats. It's probably best to have monounsaturates make up a decent part of your fat consumption. Disclaimer: I am not a doctor.

The secondary question is, why is our body not adjusted to saturated fat, considering our large amounts of consumptions of it?

We are adjusted to saturated fat. It's just that some people are sedentary, over-eat and have cholesterol problems, and saturated fats tend to worsen cholesterol problems. Saturated fat really shouldn't worry a healthy person.
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Ulc
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Ulc » Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:08 am UTC

Bakemaster wrote:You do realize this is a discussion forum where we talk about food, right?

Not a debate team?

I hope you didn't think you were registering for a debate team. We have no little plastic trophies to give out.


I don't really think that this being a food forum and not a debate forum is a good reason to jump into the pond yelling "QUARK".

Or to accept the quarking of people based on the fact that they have the technical skills to publish a youtube video.
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infernovia
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby infernovia » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:06 pm UTC

Dude, this makes me super disgusted with Fast Food. I didn't realize vege oil was that bad...

Overall, I am pretty happy with the research so far. So basically, there is minute difference between saturated fat and unsaturated fat, just make sure you eat good amount of vegetables and don't cook your oil too much.

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Bakemaster
pretty nice future dick
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Bakemaster » Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:21 pm UTC

Ulc wrote:I don't really think that this being a food forum and not a debate forum is a good reason to jump into the pond yelling "QUARK".

quarkquarkquark.jpg
quarkquarkquark.jpg (34.84 KiB) Viewed 5401 times

Ulc wrote:Or to accept the quarking of people based on the fact that they have the technical skills to publish a youtube video.

>implying a feature-length documentary is the equivalent of leave britney alone
Image
c0 = 2.13085531 × 1014 smoots per fortnight
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Telchar
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Re: Oils ain't oils

Postby Telchar » Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:41 pm UTC

Best ever.
Zamfir wrote:Yeah, that's a good point. Everyone is all about presumption of innocence in rape threads. But when Mexican drug lords build APCs to carry their henchmen around, we immediately jump to criminal conclusions without hard evidence.


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