Plant-Based Diets Boost UK Chia Farming

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Thanks to Rebecca Smithers, consumer affairs correspondent for the Guardian, for this:

First UK-grown chia seeds to go on sale this week

The popularity of plant-based diets has created huge demand for the oil-rich seeds, prompting a farm in Essex to plant a crop

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Essex grown Chia seeds by Peter Fairs for Hodmedod’s Photograph: Rebecca Noakes/Courtesy of Hodmedod’s

The first UK-grown chia seeds go on sale this week, as demand for the plant native to the Americas is fuelled by the explosion in the popularity of plant-based diets.

The company Hodmedod, pioneers of British-grown pulses, grains and seeds, has been working with farmers Peter and Andrew Fairs, of Great Tey in Essex, to bring the new British crop to market. 

Chia has become increasingly popular in the UK in recent years. The tiny dark oil-rich seeds can be sprinkled on cereals and in salads, incorporated into bread doughs or used to thicken smoothies, soups or stews. Their nutritional profile and versatility has led to them being dubbed a “superfood”.

“We are delighted to be able to offer British-grown chia seeds as another step in our mission to increase the diversity of both British farming and British diets.” said Nick Saltmarsh, co-founder of Hodmedod.

The company is aiming to reintroduce British-grown beans, peas and pulses and has worked with chefs and restaurateurs such as Hugh Fearnley-WhittingstallYotem OttolenghiJamie Oliver and Mark Hix

Read the whole story here.

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