The seeds consist about half of hull and half of kernel. The kernels contain 28 to 40 percent oil. While extracting the oil the seeds are cleaned, de-linted, and pressed or put through expellers either whole or after dehulling. A ton of seeds yields around 300 pounds of oil. It is so toxic that it is often used as a pesticide itself.
Cottonseed oil content is 13.5% , protein content is 23%, carbohydrate content is 21.2%. 100 g of cottonseed contains 506 calories. If it wasn't naturally toxic it could feed 209 927 616 people for 1 year at 2000 calories per person. There is enough protein to give 50 g a day to as many as 381 686 575 people for an entire year. But, well, it IS toxic (Gossypol, causes male sterility and liver/heart damage, used as an oral contraceptive for males in China) and enhanced with plethora of pesticides and insecticides (16% of world's pesticides and 25% of insecticides used for cotton production). It is used mostly to feed cows and as a fertilizer ( can't be used for organic production). It is estimated that 65% of all cottonseed ends up being in human food anyway (either through beef/diary or cottonseed oil, with 1 billion pounds produced, 5-6% of domestic oil market for USA).
If a product says it "might contain one of the following:" and then lists cottonseed oil, then it does contain cottonseed oil. Why? Because cottonseed costs 10 cents per pound. No one will choose your health over his profits.
US.gov pays farmers 8 cents per each pound of cottonseed produced. There is also a $230-an acre subsidy for cotton lint production.
Land usage: 433 000 sq. kilometers or 43.3 million hectares ( 108.25 million acres) . It is an area very slightly smaller than Iraq, or slightly bigger than California
There are three components to cottonseed: linters, kernels, and hulls.
Linters, the short fibers that cling to the seed after the cotton fiber is removed, are used for photographic film, paper money, dynamite, cotton balls, q-tips (DO NOT put them in your ear) and cellulose products that are found in multiple foods, ice cream, chewing gum, and toothpaste.
The kernel is crushed for production of oil and meal. Cottonseed oil is used in a variety of foods from chips to salad dressings. The oil is also refined into glycerin and soaps. What's left of the kernel is ground into cottonseed meal that is used for animal feed (pretty much only cows can eat it) and fertilizer (unless it was organic cottonseed , it would be forbidden for organic farming).
Finally, the protective hulls surrounding the kernels are used as roughage in cattle rations and as garden mulch.
As a fertilizer for organic gardens, (organic) cottonseed meal has several benefits. The N-P-K is approximately 6-2-1. The nutrients are slowly released and last approximately 4 months. The meal is slightly acidic—a boon to those with alkaline soils and/or water—and it's good source of trace elements.
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