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Hip and trendy foodies, breathe a little easier: Recent reports of a kale shortage are overblown, according to an executive at a subsidiary of the world's largest kale seed supplier. While Bejo Zaden's Australian subsidiary has run out of kale seeds, its U.S. unit still has supply—though it is tight, said Mark Overduin, managing director at Bejo Seeds USA. In the U.S., "it's not as panicky as others make it out to be," Overduin said. "I can say the supply is very, very tight." Overduin estimates Bejo Seeds USA covers 80 to 85 percent of the country's kale acreage. Since 2007, the amount of kale grown in the U.S. has risen by 57 percent as its health-conscious reputation and trend-loving consumers have driven sales of the leafy vegetable.

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-- By Bo McMillan, Special to