With all of the angst surrounding gluten, it is easy to forget that wheat still supplies the world with 18 percent of its total caloric intake. The price of supplying all of these calories—in terms of seeds, fertilizers and pesticides—is immense. Now, thanks to innovative researchers and scientists at the Land Institute, a new type of wheat will begin lessening the stress on the world’s farm fields. KERNZA, a new superwheat, is a perennial crop meaning it can be grown year-round.
More importantly, the crop’s deep and dense root system helps hold the soil in place and prevents erosion; reduces the need for costly and polluting fertilizers and pesticides; and acts as a “carbon sink” by storing massive amounts carbon dioxide. Due to these many positive attributes, a growing number of farmers will begin planting Kernza in the coming new year.
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