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Midale farmers produce new cooking oil

The daughter of one of the "Three Farmers" will be at Sisters' Bistro in Montmartre on April 16 to share what was grown on her family's farm.
(L-R) Midale-area farmers Tim Rosengren, Colin Rosengren and Ron Emde are producing a new type of cooking oil - camelina oil.

The daughter of one of the "Three Farmers" will be at Sisters' Bistro in Montmartre on April 16 to share what was grown on her family's farm.

Natasha Vandenhurk will be offering tastings of Three Farmers camelina oil, and the new products created with it - hummus, pesto and salad dressing.

The three farmers from the Midale area who have produced the new oil from their camelina crops are Colin Rosengren, Ron Emde and Dan Vandenhurk.

"People often ask why we can't buy products that our own farmers produce," said Sisters' Bistro owner Marie Anne Fournier. "Now we have something that has been grown in our region and is supporting the Southeast Saskatchewan economy and we want people to come taste how good prairie-made products are."

Camelina oil is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats and it has a smoke point of 475 Celsius, making it healthier than olive oil and as good for cooking as canola oil. Camelina, an ancient grain originating in Europe, has been grown on the prairies for the last several years as a source of bio-fuel.

Three Farmers spent over a year securing "novel food" status from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for the camelina oil they created.

Rosengren is convinced that the long-term benefits of adding value to their crops at home and putting fully traceable products into the hands of health-conscious consumers will more than pay off.

With over 1,000 bottles sold and retailers in Saskatoon, Regina, Estevan and Montmartre, the immediate plan for Three Farmers is to build a processing plant in the Midale area this spring. The three farmers will be busy growing camelina and chick peas this season, as they plan to develop a camelina hummus using their own crops. The hummus and a camelina pesto are expected to be on retailers' shelves this summer.

"I think the biggest strength we have is that it's Saskatchewan-made," said Natasha. "It's grown here, it's processed here, it's packaged here, it's branded here - everything about it screams Saskatchewan and we're letting consumers know how the food is grown by having real-life farmers telling their story."

For a free tasting of camelina oil and the foods that can be created with it, visit Sister's Bistro on Saturday, April 16 at 11 a.m.

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