Saturday, April 28, 2007

Maple Syrup gets Even More Vegetarian!

We all love the guilty sugar-laden pleasure of watching sweet, organic maple syrup run down over the edges of our breakfast carbohydrate cakes. I personally like to cut my pancakes up first, then use some of the pieces as a dam to keep the syrup in one corner of the plate for dipping. We all add our own style and panache to our use of the liquid gold, but a Vermont syrup farmer Dan Crocker, owner of Sidelands Sugarbush, has added an eco-friendly style to his maple syrup.
It seems that even the syrup farmers are seeing the effects of global warming as well, losing 3 days, or 10 percent of their narrow 30 day harvest period over the last 40 years. Although the industry is relatively environmentally friendly, the distillation process requires heat, which traditionally requires fuel oil. Mr. Crocker, with the aid of an $8,900 grant from the Dept. of Agriculture's sustainability program, has converted his fossil fuel-fired heaters to vegetable oil! Even in the harsh winter of Vermont, he is able to start up the burners on regular oil, then switch over to burning waste vegetable oil to process the sap into yummy VT maple syrup.
Nice work, Mr. Crocker!

via Stefan Teitge, M.D. and the NYT
Photo Caleb Kenna for the NYT


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