High Oleic Soybean Oil will perform during the NBA All-Star Weekend - Indiana Corn and Soy

High Oleic Soybean Oil will perform during the NBA All-Star Weekend

All professional basketball players are gifted with special skill sets that separate them from the rest of us who try to shoot baskets in our driveways. Only elite players, though, are selected to play in the National Basketball Association’s All-Star Game this weekend.

Similarly, Indiana-grown soybeans are a versatile commodity among the crops produced by Hoosier farmers. Getting a chance to shine during the NBA All-Star Weekend will be soybean oil made from high oleic soybeans. The Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA), the state’s soybean checkoff program, promotes the benefits of high oleic soybean oil to farmers and consumers.

Thousands of basketball fans will flock to Gainbridge Fieldhouse for the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 18. Gainbridge Fieldhouse is the home to the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. For more than a year, the Pacers and its concessions supplier, Levy Restaurants, have agreed to use high oleic soybean oil in food preparation for events at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. In return, ISA bought sponsorship – including the slogan “We Grow Soybeans” – on the Pacers’ playing floor. In addition, ISA has informational signage about the benefits of high oleic soybean oil and the farmers who grow it near the arena’s concession stands. High oleic soybeans are sustainably grown in Indiana on family-owned soybean farms and transformed into soybean oil at three facilities located around the state.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase a product grown here in Indiana,” said ISA Chair Kevin Cox, a farmer from Brazil, Ind. “High oleic soybean oil is a healthy and nutritious alternative to traditional vegetable oils. I couldn’t be prouder as an Indiana farmer to promote this success story, and to show the state’s soybean farmers the value their checkoff brings.”

Michael Lake, senior sales director of corporate partnerships for Pacers Sports & Entertainment, agreed that partnership with ISA has been mutually beneficial. “We at Pacers Sports & Entertainment pride ourselves on looking for partners that we can set up relationships that are win-win, and this is truly that in every sense,” he said. “To work with and use an amazing product that is grow in Indiana and even parts of the county we call home is so great.”

Lake said more than 600 jugs, or 21,000 pounds, of high oleic soybean oil will be used at Gainbridge Fieldhouse during a typical season. He is pleased that the NBA All-Star Game and festivities present an opportunity. “We are ready to showcase our city and state to the world,” Lake explained. “To work with the Indiana soybean farmers, and to have them in action in our building, is so fitting.”

High oleic soybean oil is a new vegetable oil that lasts longer for food preparation at restaurants– making it more economical. Lake said both customers and vendors are pleased with the oil. “The performance is great,” he said. “We have noticed that the oil lasts longer than other oils. This oil leaves a great color and helps to enhance the food flavors.”

More high oleic soybeans are grown in Indiana than anywhere else on Earth. ISA is committed to expanding use of this oil, in part, because farmers receive a premium for the crop. In 2023, Indiana farmers planted approximately 850,000 acres of high oleic soybeans resulting in more than $100 million in premiums being paid back to farmers.

Gainbridge Fieldhouse isn’t the only place where basketball fans can enjoy food cooked in high oleic soybean oil. Purdue University athletics, Indiana University athletics and the Indy Fuel hockey team are all using high oleic soybean oil to prepare food. High oleic soybean oil is also used at the Fair Oaks Farms restaurant and the Indiana State Fair. As more consumers realize the benefits from this cooking oil, the demand for this product with grow.

Most Hoosier consumers are unaware of the state’s soybean checkoff, ISA, what it does and how it operates. All Indiana soybean growers pay one-half of 1 percent of the net market price for soybeans to ISA. By developing new markets, creating new products, promotion and education, ISA puts these farmers’ investments into programs and projects that essentially expand opportunities for Indiana soybean farmers. Led by a board of 24 farmers elected to direct these funds, ISA looks for partnerships that will help all Indiana soybean growers.

Looking to learn more about high oleic soybeans or interested in using high oleic soybean oil for your business?






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