The Soy House

SHOWCASING ONTARIO SOYBEANS’ RENEWABLE POTENTIAL

A HOUSE MADE from and designed with soybeans has been built through a partnership between Ontario Soybean Growers, Quality Engineered Homes Ltd., and Habitat for Humanity.

The 1200 square foot Soy House will be a feature attraction at the 2009 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. The fair, which runs November 5 to 16, at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, will attract 326,000 urban and rural visitors looking for an educational experience.

After the fair, the home will be relocated to a special Habitat for Humanity site in Halton Region. Installation will be performed by Quality Homes and teams of dedicated volunteers. Habitat for Humanity has purchased the house, with the goal of having a family living in it by Christmas.

Partnering with Quality Homes, Ontario’s largest modular home builder, as well as an internationally-recognized charity, Habitat for Humanity, at the Royal is a great profile-building opportunity for Ontario’s soybean growers. The intent is to promote renewable, sustainable products made from soybeans; highlighting soy’s potential to emerge as a leading renewable resource for the province.

“The idea for the Soy House came from our 101+ Uses of Soy initiative, promoting opportunities to drive value back to Ontario’s soybean farmers by identifying specific end uses for locally-grown soy components”, explains Dale Petrie, Director of Strategic Development and Innovation with Grain Farmers of Ontario. “With Ontario’s globally-recognized IP (identity preserved) soybean niche, we are well-poised to position the many renewable end uses for our crop.”

Petrie also points out that a “made in Ontario” solution for soybean industry growth would include establishment of a viable specialty crush facility to process IP soybeans for specific commercial end uses. Examples of the types of soybeans that could be used are ones with specific amino acid profiles, high oleic acid content or with Omega-3 fatty acids.

Research and innovation are one key to developing these opportunities. More than 25 percent of Ontario’s soybean grower-funded research is devoted to soy utilization and market development projects, focusing on novel soy-based plastics, plant breeding to increase trait worth, soybean biodiesel refining, development of high oil soybeans for biodiesel markets in Ontario, and establishment of a responsive oilseed crush facility.

The Soy House at the Royal will illustrate the many commercial, industrial, residential and personal care products that are now being made from soy. No-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and varnish, adhesives, insulation, cabinet boards, carpet backing, bathroom fixtures, sofas, mattresses, bedding, clothing, food, candles, soaps, cosmetics, and even car parts, lubricants and engine oils will be included in different areas of the house.

At the end of their Soy House tour, visitors will be able to learn more about Ontario-grown soybeans, how the soy-based elements of the house are made, and where they can be purchased. •