License: Creative Commons - Attribution-No Derivatives Author: Jim Roberts Gallery
Everywhere I go, love it or hate it oilseed rape is now in full bloom in fields across our county. The rapeseed crops have been around since the 13th century in Europe. At the time its main use was as a lamp oil, but before this the oils had been used in soaps.
Around 400,000 hectares of oilseed rape is grown annually in the UK, roughly one eighth of the area of wheat and barley.
Oilseed rape has found a market as a cheap and healthy cooking oil which we use in everyday cooking. You can also find oilseed in things like Pot Noodles, salad dressing, fruit cakes, gravy granules, butter and crisps.
But its another use that's set to make rape, Britain's number one cash-making crop. These yellow fields are set to be turned into environmentally fuel for our gas-guzzling cars.
Biofuels are becoming increasingly popular because environmentalists claim they produce little, if any harmful emissions; with everyone from your typical car driver to larger motorsport teams switching to this eco-fuel.
Much of Britain's annual crop is already exported for processing into biodiesel in Germany.
So whether you enjoy seeing our fields full of yellow flowers or not, the income its generating means that it looks like oilseed rape is set to stay!
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