MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A sweet, nutty-tasting new grain called Kernza is getting a big boost from General Mills.
The giant food company is intrigued by the potentially big environmental benefits of a drought-resistant crop with long roots that doesn't need to be replanted every year.
General Mills is partnering with the Kansas-based Land Institute and the University of Minnesota to commercialize Kernza, a wild relative of wheat. It plans to incorporate it into cereals and snacks under its Cascadian Farm organic brand.
Kernza comes from the perennial intermediate wheatgrass plant. Its dense roots extend over 10 feet deep.
This represents the second but largest major move to commercialize Kernza. Patagonia Provisions last fall rolled out Long Root Ale, which is sold at Whole Foods stores on the West Coast, using Kernza from Minnesota.