Kernza: A Crop to Fix Climate Change?

What is Kenza? 

Well, according to the hype Kenza is a new perennial foodsource that can be used to make breads, cereals, snacks and beer, and will revolutionize soil management and become a massive carbon sink. It is estimated that food production accounts for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions.

As explained by Wikipedia:
Trials with intermediate wheatgrass, the product of which is trademarked by the Land Institute as "Kernza," show that it can be grown as a “multi-functional” crop, yielding various commodities as well as ecosystem services. Whereas annuals such as corn tend to deplete soil organic matter and require inputs, a perennial grain such as intermediate wheatgrass can yield crops while building soil organic matter.

Can Kenza Reverse Climate Change?

The Cascadian Farm goes further and explains that the plant's deep and permanent roots may become critical tools in the war against climate change.
What makes Kernza a wonder ingredient is its potential to restore planet health when grown at scale. Kernza’s roots extend deep into the ground – think 10 feet deep – which can create a vast carbon sink that pulls carbon from the air and keeps greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. Its deep roots also show promise to improve soil health, purify and retain water, and enhance the surrounding wildlife habitat. The benefits of Kernza have significant potential to redirect the course of climate change and improve planet health. We just need to grow more of it – and fast.

According to MC Comings, marketing director for Cascadian Farm, “The benefits of Kernza have incredible promise to redirect the course of climate change and significantly improve planet health. Cascadian Farm has always known agriculture could contribute to a healthier planet and has been deeply committed to creating a positive relationship between food and the land where it’s grown. And nearly 50 years later, we’re helping define the future of farming through our commitment to commercialize Kernza.”

Cascadian Farm, in partnership with General Mills, recently released a small quantity of test cereal product using the development crop.

General Mills appears to be working with Cascadian Farm to develop and commercialize Kenza by 2040. There is no way to tell if General Mills intends to monopolize the use of this crop via a patent acquisition, but it's clear they want to develop aggressively. The following podcast on the General Mills website provides an in-depth look into Cascadian Farm and Kenza.

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