Friday 3 April 2015

A to Z Blogging Challenge: C is for Canola

This month, I’m taking part in the A-ZBlogging Challenge, the annual event where hundreds of bloggers write 26 blogs—one for each letter of the alphabet—and post them each day of April, except Sundays. This year, I’m blogging about: THINGS THAT GROW IN ALBERTA. Don’t forget to check back daily and leave a comment on my blog, Facebook page, Twitter, Tumblr or via email at I’ll randomly pick a few winners who will receive a SIGNED copy of one of the Chase “Superman Duffy” comics.

You probably think I’m bias because my grandpa is a canola farmer, but I’m actually telling you the truth when I say that CANOLA is my favourite crop. The colour is AMAZING—just think about all of those beautiful fields as you drive across the province in July and early August.

Canola plants produce those bright yellow flowers that turn into seed-filled pods. The seeds are crushed into oil that is then primarily used for cooking. You probably have a container or two of it in your pantry. (You can even add canola oil to your smoothies!)

Did you know that canola is the country’s only Canadian-made crop? Because all the research that changed rapeseed into canola was done in Canada, Canadian scientists were permitted to give the new plant a new name.  It was decided to combine Can (for Canada) and ola (for low acid oil). It makes sense then, that Canada is one of the world’s largest producer, and the largest exporter of canola around the world—and a good chunk of that is grown in Alberta on farms like my grandpa’s.

If you’ve read any of the Chase “Superman” Duffy books, you know that the canola industry is also very innovative. Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk took 250,000 canola seeds into space to see if anti-gravity would affect their rate of growth. That was the inspiration behind IT’S A BLAST!, the third book in the Chase “Superman” Duffy series. And in GOTTA JET!, Chase (that’s me!) meets Kevin Therres, a race car driver who built the first ever Jet Engine Funny Car that runs on 100% canola biodiesel. Cool, right? (Actually, it’s HOT, and extremely FAST!)

Wait—you haven’t read either of those books? Comment below or on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr and you might be selected for our daily random prize draw!

Gotta jet! Tomorrow, we look at the letter D.

— Chase Superman Duffy

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