May 01, 2019 • By

Foodies learn about farming’s future

Cascadian Farm’s launch of its limited edition Honey Toasted Kernza cereal drew a curious food-focused crowd to an event in San Francisco.

Attendees sampled the unique cereal, and other products made from Kernza – a perennial grain that shows promise to positively impact climate change and significantly improve planet health.

The “Deeply Rooted For Good” event also featured a panel discussion called “The Future of Food and Farming is Kernza” (the audio is available in the latest episode of the “A Taste of General Mills” podcast).

Listen (34 min)


Paul Hawken, Fred Iutzi, Robyn O’Brien and Anthony Myint participated in “The Future of Food and Farming is Kernza” panel discussion on April 10, 2019, in San Francisco, California.

There are many challenges in today’s food system, from resource scarcity to soil health and water quality. Cascadian Farm and General Mills believe it will take a collective movement to change how crops are commercially grown, to positively impact climate change, and that’s what we’re doing by collaborating to help develop Kernza.

Robyn O’Brien, vice president of rePlant Capital, moderated the panel on April 10. Guests were: Fred Iutzi, president of The Land Institute; Paul Hawken, author and environmentalist; and Anthony Myint, restauranteur and co-Founder of Zero Foodprint.


Kernza’s deep roots were depicted in a unique way, as part of the event.

The discussion was kicked off by MC Comings, marketing director for Cascadian Farm.

“We’ve proven one concept [with Honey Toasted Kernza], can we push it even further and say ‘This is what we should do, we should farm differently, we should eat differently’ … It would be game-changing if we could figure out how to scale this,” said Comings.

“The story here is almost too good to be true, that something enjoyable and delicious can save the world,” Myint said. “That may seem overdramatic, but if you look at these roots and if you think about one acre and how much biology and how much carbon can be in that acre … it starts to feel possible.”

Knowing that agriculture contributes to about 30% of global greenhouse emissions, it has never been more important – or more urgent – to implement farming practices that are climate-beneficial.

“Today, people recognize that the soil really should be on every balance sheet of every company. It is so fundamental to how we are operating on this planet,” said O’Brien.

“This is the best sandbox on the playground – the regeneration and restoration of the earth, and cultures and place and society and all the things that creep and crawl and fly, that’s our job,” added Hawken.

“There are decades more research to come, for Kernza and all these other crops,” added Iutzi. “The decisions that we make now will add or subtract literally decades to that timeline. We need to advance solutions that have some bite to them now.”

“But if we fail to make big investments in the solutions that are really going to right this ship, we’re going to find ourselves out of time” – Fred Iutzi, The Land Institute

You can contribute to the cause to help develop climate beneficial ingredients and farming with crops like Kernza, and get a box of Honey Toasted Kernza cereal, at All proceeds will benefit The Land Institute to advance further Kernza research.


SHOW NOTES – Episode 47: May 1, 2019

Video: The Future of Food and Farming is Kernza

Link: A cereal that’s Deeply Rooted For Good (Podcast #46)

Link: Cascadian Farm works to advance climate-beneficial foods with limited-edition, small-batch Honey Toasted Kernza Cereal


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