What is carinata?

It’s a type of oilseed crop. The Latin name is Brassica carinata, which tells you it’s in the mustard family (Brassica), and “carinata” identifies it as Ethiopian mustard. It looks a lot like other mustard plants, rapeseed and canola with broad green leaves and yellow flowers, which develop into long, skinny seedpods. Each plant develops hundreds of pods that contain many seeds.

Why is carinata grown?

It’s grown for it’s unique oil. When carinata seeds are crushed, we get two products: oil and protein, which is what’s left over from the seeds after they are crushed. The other reason farmers grow carinata is to provide soil cover for those times when they’re not growing a food crop. Carinata prevents erosion, reduces nutrient loss and captures carbon, returning it to the soil.

Where is carinata grown?

Everywhere! Carinata is a remarkably tough plant. It can withstand environmental stressors that other oilseeds can’t, such as frost, drought, heat, cold and disease. That means it can be successfully grown on marginal lands, giving farmers a crop option they otherwise wouldn’t have.

What makes Resonance brand carinata oil unique?

It’s the chemical nature of the oil. All plant-based oils have a specific chemical profile that makes it more or less suitable for various end uses. Carinata is what’s known as a “long chain” oil, meaning it has more carbon to work with when making fuels, and this can increase efficiency when manufacturing fuel. Food oils like canola are not long chain oils and are selected for taste and nutrition, not fuel.

By growing Resonance brand carinata for fuel, does that mean a food crop is displaced?

No. Good agricultural practice includes rotating crops so that farmers don’t grow the same crop on the same field year after year. This helps build the soil and break up natural insect and disease cycles. Those who farm in areas that are too hot and dry to support other oilseed crops tend to include fallow (unseeded land) in their rotations. Because Resonance brand carinata grows well in these conditions, it gives farmers the opportunity to grow profitable oilseed crop in rotation rather than nothing at all.

Why is protein important?

Protein is an essential dietary component, and carinata offers a very high quality protein for animal nutrition. Protein from carinata can be fed to dairy cows, for example, as an excellent source of nutrition in milk production. It helps, too, that carinata is a certified sustainable crop.