I recently had the most ultimate dining experience thanks to Ford Canada. You may be thinking why would Ford take Erica out for dinner? Well, it wasn’t just me but about 10 other bloggers, writers and people working in media. What an honour!
But this all came about to inform us what Ford is doing to green up their production. Ford started working back in 2000 to replace petroleum-based plastics with plant-based materials which is much greener and better for the environment. Henry Ford back in the 30’s said if you can make it from petroleum oil you can make it from soybean oil. How cool is that Henry knew about that back in the 30’s and had even started a soy farm then? Ford saves about 10 million per year using recycled materials too!
So I got an email that stated “What if your car was more like a meal?” and what if your car (or at least parts of it) were made from food by-products instead of metal or petroleum? Well, if you’ve driven in a Ford vehicle recently, chances are you were sitting on soybeans and if you can recall we did review a Ford Explorer. I had no idea! Ford has used their power of innovation to give food by-products, oversupply and other materials a second life in their vehicles and a restaurant in Toronto had created a special menu for us showing literally from Farm to Car and now it’s in my belly.
Here’s the menu of from Chef Justin owner of Actinolite, located on 971 Ossington, Toronto, ON. YOU have to go there for dinner. It was an amazing experience.
You may be thinking how could this food be incorporated into Ford? Algae? Tomatoes? Ford is actually working with Heinz and using their tomato fibres which can be useful in vehicle plastics. Soy is used in Ford headrests and made of foam for the seats of the car. Wheat? You can see a pic below what that is used for. Bamboo? Chef Justin made a delicious soup with bamboo and made it a more modern twist on my favourite classic, French Onion but bamboo can be used as interior veneers. I believe they are currently testing bamboo. Corn, see below. This was so good! Rice. Oh, how I still remember the crunch in this. Rice hulls can be used in the electric harness of a Ford car. Even in the FordF150! It’s a pickup! Cane Sugar the meal was braised beef with a sugar cane glaze. It melted in my mouth. Sugar Cane is being tested for durability and performance for in-vehicle use. Birch threw me off. I mean what could that possibly have to do with cars but it was a dessert and it was the most amazing thing to see incorporated into food. You CAN eat birch leaves! Candied birch leaves from the tree that Chef Justin planted as a child. So Birch in cars? They can use that as cellulose for reinforced plastics.
They way Justin made this menu incorporate food used in Ford cars was amazing. If you’re on Instagram search the hashtag #FordFarmtoCar. Everything was perfect. I loved everything, but here’s a pic of some of the masterpieces from that night.
The above is from Corn. Corn is used being tested to be used in plastics and to be used as floor mats or at Actinolite for us to enjoy the corn sorbet with corn chip and corn chowder.
Or the bread made from “spent grains”. Bread with grains from a local brewery that made a delicious brew can now be used to make bread. This works with Ford in terms of wheat. Wheat in Ford vehicles is used to strengthen the plastic bins!
I was in seven-course heaven! Isn’t it so cool? How about we finish with an extra treat recipe, you saw the Birch dessert above. What can be done with coconut and what does Ford do with Coconuts? Coconut coir, made from coconut husks is used in the trunk mats of some vehicles, including the Ford Focus Electric.
You have to make these. Don’t worry you can skip the moss(it does add magic to the recipe) I am sure as I can’t get a hold of it but these are so delicious, easy to make and have major star power. Why not make them and gift them for the Holidays!
So friends. Although I was sent out for dinner all opinions are my own and are never influenced in any way. I truly find this remarkable from Ford that they are taking the initiative to make their cars sustainable and the fusion of farm to a car is cool. What do you think? Also, if you’re in Toronto I hope you’ll check out Actinolite. It’s such a unique place and your dining experience will be memorable.