Oregon farmers turn to flax as the up-and-coming crop
As grass seed farmers in Oregon find the market for their products declining, many have decided to begin producing flax seeds.
Thursday, April 7, 2011 - 22:53
Flax seeds are in high demand in recent years as the public has learned more about the healthful qualities of the ingredient in their everyday diets. According to WebMD, there is some evidence that flax seeds can help reduce one's risk of risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Flax seeds are used in foods, especially those containing flour, and flax oil is used as a dietary supplement.
While Oregon farmers have been the leaders in grass seed production, in the wake of the economic recession, there has been less and less demand for grass. Many farmers have been turning to growing flax.
An Oregon Department of Agriculture study indicates that "state-wide grass-seed farmers have converted 160,000 acres of grass-seed to other crop over the past five years including wheat, oilseed, beans, hay and specialty crops." As the demand for organic and local has increased over the years, these converted crops can mean financial stability for grass-seed farmers, who have seen their market crash.
The increased production of flax promises to create a resurgence of healthy eating among future generations. In times where the cheapest foods are often the most processed and least healthy, going back to basic grains will usher in new ways of thinking about food.
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