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Sprouted Buckwheat Entrepreneur Slams Into A Coronavirus-Induced Supply Problem

January 31, 2020: 12:00 AM EST
Whole Foods Market locations in Chicago this month will start selling a crunchy sprouted buckwheat breakfast cereal topping known as Lil Bucks. Creator of the brand Emily Griffith has been obsessed with sprouted buckwheat ever since she first tasted it in Australia. She hopes to expand into other Whole Foods regions in the future if the rollout proves successful. In Australia, sprouted buckwheat is a common health-food cereal, but in the U.S., buckwheat mostly appears in pancakes, soba noodles, and buckwheat groats, also called kasha. Technically not a grain, buckwheat is actually the seed of a fruit related to rhubarb and sorrel and is a highly-sustainable crop. It’s gluten-free, suitable for paleo diets, low on the glycemic Index, and high in magnesium and antioxidants. Unfortunately, Griffith has a supply problem: because she sources her buckwheat from China, “the coronavirus epidemic is affecting all parts of the supply chain, from logistics to labor,” she says. “Fortunately, we have enough buckwheat to get us through the next year at least.”[Image Credit: © LIL BUCKS LLC]
Robin D. Schatz, "Is This Aussie Favorite The Next Superfood?", Forbes.com, January 31, 2020, © Forbes Media LLC
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