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Michigan Explodes In Chestnut Production, Prof Calls Them ‘Perfect Food’

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(Photo credit: Thinkstock)

(Photo credit: Thinkstock)

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DETROIT (WWJ) Michigan has become a national leader in growing chestnuts and is harvesting more than 100,000 pounds a year — that’s a lot of chestnuts roasting over an open fire.

But you don’t have to limit it to times when Jack Frost is nipping at your nose.

Roasting the nuts around the holiday season is still popular, but Michigan State Professor Dennis Fulbright says they should be eaten year round because they are close to a perfect food.

“It’s a complete protein, has all the essential amino acids … It’s low in fat, 2 percent, don’t think walnuts or almonds at 60 percent, think 2-3 percent for the fat,” Fulbright said.

Fulbright says the industry has grown commercially in the last eight years and with the demand for new products such as chestnut flour and chestnut chips, he expects the state will see an even bigger economic boost.

Fulbright says the farms are scattered throughout the state.

“They go all the way to Flint, into Fenton, and south into Adrian, Blissfield area, the large production is in the southwest corner of the state,” Fulbright said.

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