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Can This Breakfast Cereal Help Save The Planet?

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Kernza - or wheatgrass, could save the planet

This past week in San Francisco, food writers and environmentalists gathered to taste some breakfast cereal.

This particular cereal had an ingredient — the milled seeds of a little-known plant called Kernza — that's the result of a radical campaign to reinvent agriculture and reverse an environmentally disastrous choice made by our distant ancestors.

The campaign began 40-some years ago with a scientist-environmentalist named Wes Jackson. He argued that humanity took a wrong turn, thousands of years ago, when it came to rely on crops like wheat and rice for basic sustenance. These "annual" crops need replanting each year, "which means that if you're going to get your seed to germinate, you've got to destroy the vegetation at the surface," clearing away anything that might compete with the fragile seedlings, Jackson said.

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