Farm to Car: Ford Canada Summer Sustainability Feast at UBC Farm


Photo: Jenn Chan Photography

In the 1930’s, Henry Ford was interested in soy beans as a potential alternative to petroleum in car production. On August 13, 1941, Henry Ford unveiled the first Ford “Soybean Car” at Dearborn Days.

Today, Ford Motor Company continues to research new application for renewable and recyclable materials. Ford is currently using plant-based materials that would otherwise go to waste to manufactured seat cushions and plastics. Sustainable biomaterials are used across 15 vehicle lines and it help save an estimated 2.3 million kilograms of petroleum per year.

Photo: Jenn Chan Photography

On the 2017 Ford Fusion, soy-based foams are used on seats on seat backs, headliners and seat cushions. The Fusion Enegri also features regenerative breaking, recovering more than 90 per cent of the kinetic energy that would normally be lost during breaking. This captured energy is sent back to the battery to be stored for later use.

On the 2017 Ford F-150, recycled cotton and blue jeans scarps are used for sound insulation. The underbody cover contains recycled tires and plastics. Recycled tires and soybeans are used on the exterior mirrors.

Photo: Jenn Chan Photography

At Ford Canada Summer Sustainability Feast, we enjoyed a beautiful outdoor long table dinner at UBC Farm. Each course, catered by the Savoury Chef, feature ingredients use in manufacturing Ford vehicles.

Our amuse was Straw Smoked Sous Vide 74 Celsius West Coast Oyster with Spirulina with a Cucumber Horseadish Mignonetter Foam and plated on rice hulls.

Wheat straw-reinforced plastic is used in the storage bins of the Ford Flex – the world’s first application of this material. The use of wheat straw-reinforced plastics in the Flex reduces the petroleum usage by 9,000 kilograms and CO2 emissions by about 13,600 kilograms annually.

In 2014, Ford introduced a new composite plastic material reinforced with rice hulls, by-product of rice grains, in the wire harness of the Ford F-150.

Faux Soil Garden Salad with Organic Greens, Carrot, Radish, Cucumber, Edamame Beans and Honey Thyme Vinaigrette. It’s one of the most interesting and creative garden salad complete with faux soil.

Since 2011, all Ford vehicles built in North America have soy foam in their seat cushions and backs. This saves an estimated 2.3 million kilograms of petroleum per year. In addition, 85 per cent of headrests produced in North America and the headliner on the Ford Escape use soy foam. Ford continues to investigate new applications for soy foam, such as for under hood and energy-absorbing foams.

Our main was Roast Line Caught BC Sablefish with Heirloom Tomato, Sweet Corn Fricassee, Sweet Potato and Dashi Espuma. I love sablefish. It was rich and buttery.

Ford is collaborating with the H.J. Heinz Company to explore using tomato fibre, a by-product of ketchup production, to develop a more sustainable bio-plastic material for their vehicles. Ford researchers are testing the material’s durability for potential use in vehicle wiring brackets and storage bins.

Ford is also currently testing corn by-products for potential uses in carpeting, upholstery and interior trim.

Lastly, our dessert was Roast Pineapple and Bamboo Shoots Rum Mousse with Glazed Mango. The Bamboo Shoots Rum Mousse was delightful and creamy.

Bamboo is one of the fastest growing grass, up to 4 cm per hour. Ford is researching the potential use of bamboo for veneers and filler material.

Photo: Jenn Chan Photography


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James Chung

Founder & Editor in Chief of Hello Vancity magazine. Email [email protected]