Southeastern Canola Now Available!
Non-GMO, additive free, all natural canola oil is now available for our restaurant clients. While we work with area farmers on next year's crop grown exclusively in Western North Carolina, we are pleased to be able to offer non-GMO canola grown by farmers in the southeast today! We have partnered with independent distributors to provide oil to our clients.
For delivery to other area, contact us directly at 828-253-1034 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Field to Fryer to Fuel Project (F3) is creating an innovative model that will provide area farmers a new crop opportunity, restaurants with locally-grown non-GMO canola oil, and ultimately biodiesel produced from the used cooking oil.
The pilot phase of the project was funded by a grant to AdvantageWest by the Biofuels Center of NC. Under this project, Blue Ridge Biofuels is establishing an FDA-compliant oil seed extraction and refining plant with assistance from our project partners. This effectively expands western North Carolina’s oilseed crushing and processing capacity to support farmers that wish to grow oilseed crops. We have conducted market research and know that Western North Carolina is the perfect location to launch a local cooking-oil company. BRB will then use our existing oil collection and biodiesel processing infrastructure to collect the oil from restaurants and process it into biodiesel.
While the initial crop is non-GMO canola, a member of the rape-seed family, other agricultural crops – such as black walnuts – can also be crushed and bottled for sale to restaurants and individual consumers. The equipment for processing oil seeds is flexible and can be used for a variety of local, edible oils, providing a new economic opportunity for our region for area farmers, creating new jobs, and creating delicious and nutritious local products.
In October 2013 we pressed our first batch of canola oil with help from the folks at Appalachian State University at the EcoComplex in Catawba County. With help from oil expert TJ Robinson of Fresh Pressed Olive Oil, we presented the oil to participating chefs for a taste test. Peter Pollay of Posana Cafe, Joe Scully of Chestnut & Corner Kitchen, and Rosetta Star of Rosetta’s Kitchen all gave the thumbs up to two types of our oil: a raw, unrefined oil rich in flavor that would be great for dressings and dipping and a second, more refined oil that would be perfect for frying and baking.
So, F3 is on its way! We’re really excited about this program. It is among the many ways that we’re helping to create sustainable, innovative, prosperous communities in Western North Carolina. We hope you’ll be a part of this story. Connect with us on Facebook to stay in the loop!
F3 Project Partners:
Appalachian State University is working with Blue Ridge Biofuels to install the crushing and refining equipment housed at the Catawba County Eco-Industrial Complex. ASU will assist in analytical testing of the refined oil to insure that it meets all health and safety requirements.
Blue Ridge Food Ventures is providing guidance on FDA and other food processing related regulations.
The Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center is providing technical support to growers regarding the best practices for successfully planting, growing, and harvesting canola seed.
The Global Institute for Sustainability Technologies at AB Tech is providing technical advice and laboratory testing support. Katie Estridge and Jon Snover of AB Tech are shown here with lab-scale canola oil.
For more information on the pilot project, visit the F3 page on AdvantageWest's website.