In responding to the prompt here, I was determined to ‘think outside the box.’ I know lots of contributors – there’s a full list of entries here – will have posted lovely pictures of delicious food, ready to eat. Far be it from me to criticise that, or hold it against them. (I’ve enjoyed taking pictures like that myself, more than once.) But take a moment to think about where our food comes from – in particular, the table margarine and many cooking fats we take for granted. Even if you don’t cook much at home, you will very likely be buying food products containing prepared vegetable oils that started off here:
Remember those yellow fields with a heady scent, much hated by those of us who suffer with pollen allergy? Well, this is what follows! Take a closer look…
Each of those pods contains a dozen or so seeds, each around 3mm in diameter, containing around 40% oil by weight – so this is a important crop for the food industry.
And one further line of thought: we wouldn’t care, these days, to have to go further than the supermarket for most of our food. But getting it that close to us involves a non-stop, and enormous, transport operation, using millions of litres of diesel fuel each year. Now, this same oil can be easily used to make ‘bio-diesel’, a non-mineral fuel for diesel engines. It’s interesting to note that, when Rudolph Diesel first demonstrated his compression-ignition oil engine, he was keen to point out that it would, in fact, run on vegetable oil. That was in the year 1905!