PBS: Kernza for Climate and Soil

November 18, 2019


Scientists in Minnesota and Kansas are developing a grain called Kernza, which, unlike most of our food crops, is a perennial plant with a whole host of environmental benefits. While it’s still far from hitting the market widely, food producers big and small are starting to get on board. Megan Thompson reports as part of our “Future of Food” series, supported by the Pulitzer Center.

Long way to go – but now that they’re making beer with it, maybe scientists will get serious.
You can support research and get a sample here.

3 Responses to “PBS: Kernza for Climate and Soil”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    I like that they made beers called “Long Root” with it.

    (Of course, I drink wine: The way classy people get shit-faced.)

  2. J4Zonian Says:

    This is great research, but we need to be careful of thinking in terms of Magic Bullets. There are lots of perennial grains, and places like Wes Jackson’s Land Institute develop perennial wheat and others. And there are thousands of other perennial crops that will be integral parts of any solution. (Perennial Vegetables, by Eric Toensmeier; Edible Forest Gardens, by Jacke & Toensmeier.)

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      I think of this less as a “magic bullet” than as yet another instance of the “million slingshots” of ideas being developed and embraced by thoughtful people.

      I wonder if this new Kernza grain might fare better in a country with less mechanized development. In any case, long-rooted perennial grasses would be useful in many scenarios without the human-harvestable aspect of the “crop”.

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