CBS 13's April Hettinger takes a closer look this new breed of greens
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Growers are getting creative with how they spice up your diet. One local grower is experimenting with hemp leafy greens, but to bust the myth, it doesn't actually have any CBD or THC.
Yuma residents will get the first bite of a trial, experimenting with hemp leafy greens that may be coming to a grocery store near you.
The grower, Robert Masson is an agricultural extension agent with the University of Arizona Yuma Extension. His motive is to test the nutritional value of this new kind of lettuce, hoping to boost the health of the community.
"We really need to look at our diets. There is a big issue with not getting enough leafy green materials into our diets," Masson stated.
Russ Engle, director of the University of Arizona Yuma Extension is looking forward to the opportunities this new green will bring.
"The initial thought was the hemp was being grown for CBD production, but hemp can be grown for fiber. It can be grown for seeds," Engle said.
The plan came about because Masson was sent a research journal by a master's student from Cornell University, and he knew he could hit the ground running with this idea.
"The leaf itself has a lot of prestige, the leaf shape is very iconic," Masson explained. "A lot of people are very in love with the way it looks."
People eat with their eyes, and he hopes these pretty greens will be hot in the grocery stores.
"This particular leaf has a lot of fashion value, and so, it will move from the shelves pretty quickly," Masson said.
But, the way it looks is just to reel in consumers. There are other health benefits for the attractive green.
"People will be getting more vitamins, minerals, a lot more fiber in their diet," Masson stated. "All those beautiful things you get when you eat a great salad."
They are testing 17 different types of hemp leafy greens for a 20-day growing period.
There will be a tasting event free to the public this Friday, November 13 and next Friday, November 20 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Yuma Agricultural Center located at 6425 W 8th St, Yuma, AZ 85364.
The public will sample the 17 types of hemp leafy greens and vote for the ones with the best taste. The most popular types might make it on grocery shelves across the U.S.