Appropriate thought, since much of the rapeseed oil grown here is used for biofuel. The UK produces 2.10 million tonnes of rapeseed, compared to 0.7 tons in the US. (Those figures are for 2007; I would bet the numbers are higher this year.) Considering the UK is smaller than the size of Kansas in land mass, it's not surprising that rape features prominently in the English landscape during May. Neon yellow fields are everywhere, visible from the motorways and highways of England, fueling vehicles that race across the countryside. In some counties, as much as 10 percent of the farmland is covered by rape.
The by-products of the rapeseed production are used as animal feed. Rapeseed oil is not commonly used in cooking here, however—it is more difficult to find than canola oil is in the US. That's probably because much of it is produced from genetically modified seed—GMOs are illegal in Europe.
Funny, it doesn't smell anything like the pungent fragrance of the rape flowers.
Close up...and far away.
If you've never smelled rape, imagine what your grandmother smelled like when she didn't bathe for a week. It's sort of sickly sweet, slightly industrial. Not pleasant, but not horrendous either.