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Red Spinach Variety Released

USDA Red, a true red spinach

Traditionally, spinach is the color green. There are some leafy greens called red spinach, but only the veins are red and they are not true spinach. Now, a true red spinach variety has been traditionally bred to give consumers a new outlook on spinach.

Since 2006, when an E. coli outbreak occurred, spinach consumption has dropped from 2.3 pounds per person to 1.6 pounds. Growers are hopeful this new color will bring consumers back.

The red color comes from betacyanin, a phytonutrient that has been shown to reduce oxidative stress in patients and could help prevent chronic disease, inflammation, and cancer.

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About Karen Blakeslee

The Rapid Response Center was formed in 1995 as a resource for Kansas State University Research & Extension Agents. Resource topics included Food Science, Human Nutrition, Food Service, Textiles, Home Care and other consumer topics. Since that time, the Center has grown to be of valuable assistance to Kansas State University Extension Specialists in those areas.

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