This article was originally written and submitted as part of a Canada 150 Project, the Innovation Storybook, to crowdsource stories of Canadian innovation with partners across Canada. The content has since been migrated to Ingenium’s Channel, a digital hub featuring curated content related to science, technology and innovation.
What does a good set of teeth have to do with growing wheat? Back in 1903, strong>Charles Saunders headed up grain research at Ottawa’s Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa. He sometimes used his teeth for a mill and his mouth for an oven, chewing wheat grains into dough to determine their flour and bread quality. Saunders cross-bred wheat varieties from Eastern Europe and India to create a hybrid that would thrive in Canadian conditions. His crowning achievement, Marquis wheat, dominated the prairies due to its short growing season and resistance to disease.