Millet, like many recently trendy grains, has history—it’s been consumed for around 7,000 years. But like quinoa or buckwheat, it’s not technically a grain at all, but rather the seeds of a family of hearty grasses. It’s an important staple in cultures throughout Afro-Eurasia, with a place in cuisines ranging from Namibia to Germany to North Korea.
And for those trend-chasers among us currently whiplashed by the competing fads of gluten-free dieting and sourdough bread baking, take comfort in the knowledge that millet has a place in both camps. The seeds are gluten-free, but they can add some satisfying crunch as mix-ins for your crusty loaves.
Nagaland farmers are bringing back the ancient crop – said to have near-miraculous powers – as a less water-intensive alternative to rice.
New research suggests that millet could be as influential to the future of farming as it was to its history.
With 2023 likely to be designated the International Year of Millet by the UN, the ancient grain is hoping to surpass the quinoa boom to soon become part of everyday diets across the world.
Millet’s short growing season and low water needs might also benefit a modern world stressed by climate change.
Getting people to change what they eat is tough. Changing a whole farming system is even tougher. The southern Indian state of Karnataka is quietly trying to do both, with a group of cereals that was once a staple in the state: millet.
Until about 40 years ago, like most of India, the people of Karnataka regularly ate a variety of millets, from finger millet (or ragi) to foxtail millet. They made rotis with it, ate it with rice, and slurped it up at breakfast as porridge.
Millet was not a food I grew up eating but it was one I fed to my parakeets. Those budgies would love pecking at the long strands of millet seeds until only the stem remained. When I became an adult, however, and started exploring grains other than rice, I learned that millet is not only delicious and nutty but it’s healthy and gluten-free
People who spend time in the kitchen and think a lot about their ingredients have probably heard of quinoa, the ancient mother grain of the Incas which is now promoted as a super food, alternative to rice. There's another grain sitting on store shelves with potential: millet. Like quinoa, millet is drought-tolerant, gluten-free and nutrient-dense - but has not quite taken off.
A group of researchers hopes to bring this nutritious, drought-tolerant grain to the mainstream.
People are becoming more interested in where their food comes from, and we are proud to provide millet as part of a healthy diet as consumers recognize the health benefits of this ancient grain.
This newly trendy grain was once far more prominent in human diets: It played a pivotal role in the rise of multi-crop agriculture and settled farming societies.
This grain comes from Africa and Asia and was very popular in those areas as it was one of the main crops there nearly 10,000 years ago. It has been found in achealogical remains of pit houses along with its tools to harvest it. This healthy grain is largely produced now in india and africa.