Did you ever think it possible to eat a vehicle?! We recently had the chance to attend a Ford Sustainability Dinner at the Calgary Zoo and learn more about this exciting innovation.
For one night Ford and the Calgary Zoo teamed up to showcase some of the different food items Ford uses in the production of it’s vehicles. Sounds kinda cool right? I was admittedly very excited to attend this event as we own Ford trucks and secondly the Calgary Zoo itself is a leader in wildlife conservation trying inspire action to sustain wildlife and wild places. They boast a culinary garden on the Zoo grounds allowing them to utilize home grown fruits, vegetables, herbs and more (ie: bamboo). Several of these home grown items were incorporated into our meal.
A pioneer of our time, Henry Ford was always a step ahead of every one else. On August 13, 1941, he unveiled the first Ford “Soybean Car” at Dearborn Days in Dearborn, Michigan. He had already invested money in a soybean farm, a soy processing plant, and soy crop research. Ford had amazing foresight to know that one day, his customers would be looking to Ford to be the leader in sustainability in the world of car production. He even wore a soy made suit.
As the story goes, auto production was suspended during World War I, and Ford’s technology advancements became lost, as all energy was put into war recovery efforts. In 2000 Ford started to replace petroleum-based plastics with plant-based materials and the Sustainability process was reborn. Today, the automaker uses eight sustainable-based materials in its vehicles including soy foam, castor oil, wheat straw, kenaf fiber, cellulose, wood, coconut fiber and rice hulls.
After an initial margarita cocktail with cotton candy and a few light bites, Ford representatives gave us a presentation about their sustainability practices. Every meal presented by the Calgary Zoo included a sustainable material used in making ford vehicles (such as soybeans and coconut) and explained in detail by a Ford Scientist.
We were led into the Enmax Conservatory at the Calgary Zoo to begin our dinner. The Conservatory is a gorgeous place to hang out at anytime, but it was simply spectacular on this evening. The table for dinner was simply stunning and we were in awe while taking photos of the table before we took our seats. Our four Course Meal included a palate cleanser and each one was introduced by the Chefs as it was served to us. Following the introduction, the Ford Scientist explained the item on the plate that was being used in Ford automobiles.
One of their more recent partnerships and collaborations is with Jose Cuervo, a family-owned and operated business since 1795. They have teamed up to make car parts from Agave. The growth cycle of the agave plant is a minimum seven-year process. Once harvested, the heart of the plant is roasted, before grinding and extracting its juices for distillation. Jose Cuervo uses a portion of the remaining agave fibers as compost for its farms, and local artisans make crafts and agave paper from the remnants.
A few photos of our meal include our first course; Dandelion greens, apple wedges, roasted beets, mulled red wine and sugar cane gastrique, pumpkin seed brittle. Presented in bamboo grown on the grounds of the Calgary Zoo. Did you know sugar can be used to make pop bottles and other plastics?
Second Course above (and one of my favourites): Miso glazed sous vide ling cod, grapefruit segments, coconut yam puree, wilted frisee, accompanied by Ford soy custard with soy foam. The soy foam custard was inspired by soy Ford uses in its seat foam.
The evening was full of great food, company and lots of learning about Ford’s forward thinking. I left feeling inspired and confident the world I leave to my children might not be so bad after all with companies like Ford and Jose Cuervo.
I was invited to attend this Media Dinner as a guest, as always all comments about my experience remain my own.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Companyis a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 203,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks and SUVs, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. To expand its business model, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities with investments in electrification, autonomy and mobility. Ford provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products and services, please visitwww.corporate.ford.com.