Grown in: North Dakota and Great Plains
Why We Love Them: Roasted sunflower kernel is a great-tasting, nutrient-rich treat, and one of the best whole foods sources of vitamin E which is a fat-soluble antioxidant that protects cells and helps the body fight inflammation. Just one quarter-cup of sunflower seeds contains over 60% of your daily vitamin E requirements, as well as containing vitamin B1, manganese, copper, magnesium, and a ton of other vitamins and minerals.
Sustainability Factors: Heat- and drought-tolerant, sunflowers are resilient and easy to grow. There is also very little waste when their seed hulls are sold to local farmers for bedding. Water is becoming an increasingly valuable commodity, and the sunflower crop grown in the Red River Valley relies completely on snow pack, rain fall, and moisture stored within the soil profile. Irrigation is unnecessary. The deep root system of the sunflower reaches the full measure of moisture and nutrients in the soil. Sunflowers are an excellent rotational crop, often used to pull up nutrients washed deep down into the soil.