Cascadian Farm Says This New Cereal Can Help Fight Climate Change
I have an unusual box of cereal in my pantry—the first of a kind, you might say. The manufacturer, organic foods brand Cascadian Farm, claims that kernza, the grain that is the key ingredient in its Honey Toasted Kernza Cereal, helps store carbon, protect water resources and prevent soil erosion. With talk like that, kernza has a lot to answer for.
That's why Cascadian Farm, which was acquired by General Mills in 2000, was happy to send along a sample for me to try—and report back to you. It's part of a limited-edition run of 6,000 boxes while Cascadian Farm figures out how to make kernza a commercial reality by 2040.
The environmental bonafides of kernza, an intermediate wheatgrass with ancient origins, are intriguing. Fred Iutzi, president of The Land Institute—a nonprofit that is developing varieties of the grain—described kernza as the “first grain crop that is also a perennial in the 10,000-year history of agriculture, and it comes with a lot of heavy-duty ecological benefits.”
Through its often 10-foot-long roots, the grain has the inherent ability to capture carbon from the air, increase soil health, improve water quality and enhance surrounding wildlife habitat, according to The Land Institute. And Cascadian Farm is putting those impacts front and center with the online Deeply Rooted campaign.