Supplier(s): Red River Foods (SD) and Grain Millers (MN)
Grown in: Upper Midwest and Canada
Why We Love Them: Flaxseed is a nutritional powerhouse, high in alpha linoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that is heart-healthy and rich in anti-inflammatories. Flaxseed also contains soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps to maintain normal cholesterol levels. They’re a rich source of plant lignans and many vitamins and minerals, making this tiny seed a healthy, wonderful nutritional gift.
Sustainability Factors: Flaxseeds can be grown locally here in Minnesota, the Dakotas and Canadian prairies. It is also valuable preceding crops in rotations with a deep rooting system and favorable influence on the soil structure which curtails the presence of nematodes and fungi. The quantity of fertilizers and pesticides required in flax cultivation is less than for many other crops. It is also interesting to note that the majority of these chemicals are returned to the soil during retting, thus reducing the quantities required by subsequent rotation crops.