During Lent, the Russian Orthodox Church forbad its adherents from consuming oil. However, the oil of the sunflower was not on the prohibited list and the Russian people jumped on Peter’s bandwagon wholeheartedly. By the third decade of the nineteenth century sunflower oil was manufactured in Russia on a large and highly lucrative commercial scale.
Read about how the sunflower made its way back to America as a crop in this post at Kuriositas. Link -via the Presurfer
(Image credit: Flickr user Allen Hsu)