$10,000 Grant Awarded to WSU Helps Provide More Nutritional Value To Crops For Consumption.

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The Washington State University Social to Society project recently won a five-year, $10,000 grant to research and grow more nutritious grain crops for consumption.  The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

The goals of the project are to study how soil and plants effect human health and to develop better tasting crops to help provide increased nutrition in answer to declining nutrient content of crops in past decades as part of NIFA's Agriculture and Food Initiative Sustainable Agriculture Systems program.

"We're trying to make these nutritionally dense varieties and foods affordable to all, so we will still be working with crop yield and disease resistance as well" said Kevin Murphy, program director and WSU associate professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, according to the WSU Insider.

Crops grown will be wheat, barley, buckwheat, quinoa, lentils and peas. Scientists will research improving nutrients such as zinc, iron, beneficial fiber and essential amino acids in food while farmers will grow new varieties  with the goal of providing affordable, more nutritious food to be sold at market.

Twenty researchers from WSU's Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine will collaborate with three researchers from Johns Hopkins University along with several agencies and industry partners "including the U.S. Dry Pea and Lentil Council, Washington Grain Commission, Ardent Mills, Rebellyous Foods, WSDA Regional Markets, Patagonia Provisions, and the King Arthur Baking Company" reports the WSU Insider.

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