Almost every country with a tropical climate produces CNO, but in my experience, the highest-quality oil comes from Thailand or the Philippines. (The ones listed below are from the Philippines.) I couldn't copy the pix from the website for the first 2 (they automatically enlarged when I clicked on them), but these 2 brands are excellent. One or the other is always on sale at PureFormuals.com (& they always have free shipping):
- Ojio Raw Organic Coconut Oil - 32 oz. for under $19.79 (sale price)
- Health From The Sun Raw Coconut Oil - 32 oz. for $21.12 (sale price)
If you shop at Amazon.com, this is also an excellent oil:
- Kirkland Signature Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (Cold-Pressed, Unrefined) - 42 oz. for $20.04
In a pinch when I can't wait for a mail order, Whole Foods always has several brands of CNO (I remember when they only stocked 3). But you must be careful to Read The Labels. I like the WF 365 Organic UNREFINED Expeller Pressed Virgin Coconut oil -- & I do have a pic of this one. But the WF brand is rather overpriced, esp. because the jars are only 14 oz, not the usual 16 oz. (Sneaky devils!)
And pay the 280°F temp notation no mind. Allegedly the more refined (processed) the oil is, the higher the temp you can heat it to while cooking. But I've only ever bought cold-pressed or expeller expressed unrefined CNO, regardless of the brand. I fry chicken in CNO at a starting temp. of 385° or 390°F. I've NEVER had the oil scorch & my fried chicken rocks! (And yes, I do save my oil after frying chicken or pork chops (but not fish), add some fresh oil to it, then reuse it.)
And I always try to buy CNO in glass jars or clear colorless plastic. When it comes to oils & butters, you really need to see what you're getting before you buy. Ages ago when I first started using CNO, I was trying to save a few bucks & decided to buy some from the local health food store where I got my red palm oil. Not one of those posh health food joints that the other half shops at -- this was a ghetto grocery store owned by a Nigerian family. But they sold healthful items -- fresh herbs & produce, halal meat, various oils & handicrafts from different parts of Africa. You had to bring your own jars/containers with a label on them showing how many ounces they were. Otherwise, your purchase would be scooped into ziploc bag that they charged a nickle for. Everything was sold by weight at really good prices. The day I was there they had no bulk CNO, but there were no-name black plastic tubs of coconut oil, $5.00 for 16 oz. The owner said the CNO was from Ghana, like their red palm oil, so I bought some.
I took it home & transferred some of it into a glass jar to examine it. When I scooped out the first few tablespoons, it was solid & snow white, the way CNO should be, but the smell seemed a bit off. As you know, unrefined virgin CNO has very little odor, just a light coconut scent that fades quickly once you rub it into your skin or hair. I thought the plastic container might have affected the smell. Then I nuked it for a few seconds to liquefy it. And what had been white as snow while solid turned into a yellow-tinged oily mess once it was heated! (Even in liquid form, CNO doesn't feel "greasy" on your skin the way corn or canola oil does.) It was the color of dilute urine & smelled rancid once it was melted. I promptly dumped out the melted oil, tossed the jar in the trash & was glad I had only wasted $5.00 for my trouble. Since then, the only CNO I'll buy in a plastic jar is Jarrow Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil (the one with the green label -- Pure Formulas carries it too).
So I guess the moral of my rambling story is that cooking with natural tropical oils like CNO & red palm fruit oil (but avoid palm kernel oil) will cost you more because the healthy stuff always does. The usual cooking oils you find in the supermarket -- canola, soy & "vegetable" oil -- are cheap as chips for a reason. If you read the label, "vegetable oil" is actually corn oil -- but ask yourself, with all the popcorn & corn on the cob you've eaten in life, did you ever notice oil coming out of those kernels? Squeeze a raw corn kernel & you'll get a milky white liquid that's NOT oily. It's not like olives where you just run them through a press & voilà, you get a healthy oil that needs no further processing (beyond filtration). So how do they get oil from corn? (You can read about that nasty process here: bit.ly/1OlQ9ew) Which is why you can shop at Walmart.com & buy a whopping 40 oz. bottle of Mazola Corn Oil for $3.35, but they charge $15.46 for 29 oz. of Spectrum Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.
If no one ever schooled you on healthy oils & you're like most people, you'll just grab the bargain Mazola oil -- esp. if crap like that is what your mom used when you were growing up. If you're poor & educated about healthy oils, you know that you can either spend more now for the CNO or spend more years later at the doctor's office/hospital. But you're poor, so your budget is small -- what do you do? In most cases, you'll have a family to feed, not just yourself. So do you buy the cheap corn oil that will last you a month or the expensive CNO that will only last 2 weeks (esp. if you're using it on your hair & body as well as cooking with it)?
Sure, folks can can save money buying CNO in bulk online. But ponder this: The gov't spent $76 BILLION on SNAP in 2014 -- but the SNAP card you can use at local stores can't be used to shop online, where you can buy healthy oils for lower prices. (The Powers That Be know exactly what they're doing!) So while smart, rich people like Michelle Obama are yammering about "food deserts" & doing "Let's Move" videos with Beyoncé (who later signed a $50 mil deal to hawk Pepsi -- what message does that send to a fat 3rd grader?), poor people who know how to eat well are still caught between a rock & a hard place because they can't afford healthy oils. Yet Michelle & Beyoncé get kudos for efforts that do nothing to really change things for the sick, poor people who need to eat better!
Even Stevie Wonder can see that "Everything is everything", as my homeboy used to say. We have tens of millions of poor people in the richest nation on Earth. The gov't spends billions of Our Tax Dollars (the only real income our gov't has is tax revenue!) "helping the poor". But the decisions about that help are made by a small group of elites who get rich studying & writing about the poor, creating & running anti-poverty programs. Yet there are more poor people every year & their health doesn't improve much, even with Medicaid & Obamacare. That's no accident -- Poverty Is Big Business! If those folks actually improved the lives if the poor, sick people in this country, all the poverty pimps -- from the social workers to the check cashing/payday loan joints to the Korean stores selling yak hair for ghetto weaves to the people running multi-billion-dollar poverty programs -- would end up out of business. That's the REAL reason why nothing changes for the poor.
Poor or not, nobody can do much to improve their lot in life if they aren't healthy. That GIGO acronym -- Garbage In, Garbage Out -- doesn't just apply to computer code.