Teen shows the good in pesky kudzu - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Teen shows the good in pesky kudzu

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VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

A south Georgia teenaged inventor wants to show people that there is some good in that pesky weed kudzu.

Jacob Schindler says it's edible and since there's so much of it available why not use it as a food source.

He even invented a drill to eradicate the plant, but he wants people to see kudzu in a whole new way.

It may look like typical salsa but there's one ingredient the recipe doesn't usually call for, kudzu.

"It's not just a weed," said Schindler.

17-year old Jacob Schindler has studied kudzu for years. The rising Lowndes High senior and his work even got some national attention from CNN.

Last year he showed us his award winning helium dispersion drill that can kill kudzu in four weeks. He studies gases at Auburn University and has found helium is the best gas for eradicating the plant.

It all started in 6th grade when he wanted to grow kudzu on Mars.

"Turns out things outside of this world weren't going to happen," said Schindler.

So then he was determined to find out how to control the plant and then get people to like it.

"Really the whole goal here is to show that kudzu can be a staple food product at a time when food prices are going through the roof," said Schindler.

His work on the salsa project here at Valdosta State University is part of the Governor's Honors Program.

The south is the land of kudzu and it essentially grows everywhere on trees, fences and to most it's a nuisance.

Schindler says there's over 11,000 miles of kudzu in the nation. He's found there's lots of uses for it in fiber dyes and even fuel.

Jacob Schindler's helium dispersion drill has a patent pending.

He'll show off his salsa project with other Governor Honors students Thursday.


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