In the News: American Ginseng

In the News: American Ginseng

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Local Banquet

Written on

August 03 , 2018

Ginseng is in the news. Not for its health benefits, but because when you have a burgeoning trade war with China, ginseng is an item on the “to be tariffed” list. And when someone places a tariff on American ginseng, they’re attacking. . . Wisconsin.


Marketplace made Wisconsin ginseng a window into trade wars and tariffs in a recent episode of the podcast of Make Me Smart (the ginseng part begins around the 10 minute mark).


There’s more to know about the ginseng trade. Like the wide range in values to American ginseng and how to find the most valuable wild ginseng. Planet Money did an episode on this topic in January that explores the mountains of Appalachia. The Smithsonian wrote about the value of ginseng and its history in America in 2014. Modern Farmer named it one of the five most valuable crops you can grow in the U.S. in 2017.  


You can probably guess, because you’re reading about it here, there’s a Vermont connection - Local Banquet published a story on the future of Vermont’s wild ginseng in fall of 2008. Ginseng has not been top of the Vermont news headlines of late, although the broader topic of the future of wildcrafting landed itself briefly in the spotlight in 2016 - 2017 with concerns about overharvesting of the popular fiddleheads (as noted in Seven Days) and ramps (as noted in a piece by the Vermont Fresh Network).


We’ll check in again on Vermont ginseng later this fall, when the harvesting season begins.

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