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(article, Culinate staff)
The Oregon canola saga is local to us here at Culinate, given that it affects crops grown only in the Willamette Valley. But its food politics feel national. At issue: whether to allow canola — a seed crop used to make cooking oil and biodiesel — should be allowed to be grown across the valley, a fertile farming region known for its many specialty seed crops. Since the vast majority of canola grown in North America is genetically modified, those specialty-seed farmers are naturally worried about the purity of their own crops. The Oregon Department of Agriculture recently increased the acreage allowed for canola cultivation in the valley. Will canola eventually take over? Time — and pollen drift — will tell.