Farmers Struggling to Find Enough Kale Seeds

An example of why: Chick-fil-A just replaced its cole slaw with the green
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2016 2:00 PM CST
Farmers Struggling to Find Enough Kale Seeds
Kale remains a hot commodity.   (AP Photo/The Pantagraph, Steve Smedley)

If you needed any more evidence that kale has gone mainstream, check out the menu at Chick-fil-A as of Monday. The cole slaw is gone, replaced by, yes, that ubiquitous leafy green, reports 11Alive. More specifically, the slaw has been replaced by a "Superfood Side" of kale and broccolini. (Ironic?) It's not difficult, of course, to find kale elsewhere—a food research company tells CBS News it's counted 420 products that boast about having some. And that's contributing to what the network calls a "major headache" for some kale farmers in the US—there aren't enough seeds to go around. "Seed companies are scrambling to meet demand," says an agricultural extension agent in New Jersey's Cumberland County.

The shortage has forced some farmers to take the unusual step of getting seeds from overseas, reports CBS. Still, a University of Georgia professor says things are calming down from the the first few years of the kale boom, with yearly increases in acreage devoted to the crop slowing down. But there's a new normal: "Keep in mind that there is still much more kale grown now than in the past." Meanwhile, an essayist in the Washington Post has a piece headlined, "No food is healthy. Not even kale." The gist is that foods such as kale may be nutritious, but only people can be healthy. It's not mere semantics, writes Michael Ruhlman, who argues that this point speaks to the vast amount of confusion surrounding food. "The kale on your plate is not healthy, and to describe it as such obscures what is most important about that kale salad: that it’s packed with nutrients your body needs," he writes. "But this is not strictly about nomenclature. If all you ate was kale, you would become sick. Nomenclature rather shows us where to begin." Click for that full piece. (More kale stories.)

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