November 18, 2009 (Acton, ON) – What do household insulation, mattress foam and kitchen cabinets all have in common? Soybeans! Yes Soybeans. The Soy House, the feature exhibit at this year’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair enabled visitors to experience how soy can be used as an environmentally-friendly, sustainable replacement to petroleum oil in many household products. The house demonstrates the emerging soy market in Ontario and showcases the complete soybean value chain, from agricultural roots to people’s homes. By partnering with Quality Homes and Habitat for Humanity Halton, the first-ever Soy House has landed in Acton for a Habitat partner family to call home.
The commercial uses of soy are made possible by separating soybeans into two distinct and equally useful parts. When crushed, 80 percent of the bean becomes high protein soy meal, which is used for human and animal consumption, while the remaining 20 percent becomes soy oil, which can be used as bio-fuels and as a sustainable replacement to petroleum oil. “The use of soy as a renewable alternative to petrochemicals enables the development of a wide array of greener, eco-friendly products for consumers,” said Dale Petrie, Director of Strategic Development and Innovation, Grain Farmers of Ontario.
A deserving Habitat family will benefit from living in the Soy House, which will have lower energy costs and features soy-based structural components, thereby reducing harmful off-gases, in everything from No-VOC paints and varnishes, adhesives, household insulation, kitchen cabinets and bathroom fixtures. “The partnership with Habitat for Humanity Halton was a natural fit as we showcase the benefits of using soy. Ontario soybean farmers and our partners are committed to volunteering with Habitat to complete the house, ensuring the partner family is able to move in as early as possible” continues Petrie.
“Ontario soybean farmers’ unique partnership with Habitat for Humanity Halton and Quality Homes has helped provide another family in the Halton region with a safe, decent, affordable place to live,” says Lynn Fergusson, Interim Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity Halton. “This unique partnership is proof of what can be done when passion, dedication and resources are pooled together, to truly make a difference in the community.”
“Quality Homes is proud to have partnered with Ontario’s soybean farmers to bring The Soy House to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and to Habitat for Humanity Halton,” says Howard Sher, Executive Vice-President, Quality Homes. “As custom home builders, we are always looking for new and innovative products and suppliers. The project has certainly introduced us to a range of environmentally-friendly, soy-based companies.”
Over the coming weeks all partners with join the selected family in completing the remaining work in order turn over the keys to their new home.
Grain Farmers of Ontario is the province’s largest commodity organization, representing Ontario’s 28,000 barley, corn, oat, soybean and wheat farmers. The crops they grow cover 6 million acres of farm land across the province, generate over $2.5 billion in farm gate receipts, result in over $9 billion in economic output and are responsible for over 40,000 jobs in the province.