(J.P. Lawrence/Stars and Stripes)

Herat, Afghanistan, Nov. 14, 2018: A woman inspects red stigmas from a purple crocus flower for impurities in one of three saffron processing centers opened by Rumi Spice, a Chicago-based spice company founded by U.S. Army veterans that sourced its spices directly from Afghan farmers. Called red gold, saffron is sold as the most expensive spice in the world, selling for up to $4,000 a pound.

Read J.P. Lawrence’s 2018 story about growing saffron in Afghanistan and the role of a U.S. veteran-led company here.

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