I just bought a loaf of bread featuring “ancient grains”. (I know… born to be wild!) After carefully checking to make sure the best before date was in this century, I got to wondering just what’s up with these so-called ancient grains.
Fortunately, these grains are just as fresh as any standard wheat would be. The ancient part refers to their pedigree. These grains come from plants which have been un-touched by genetic engineering. I’m not just talking about the high-tech science lab GE stuff. That also refers to the thousands of years worth of selective breeding that the world’s agriculture is built on. These ancient grains are pure and natural as can be.
Ancient grains are making a comeback. One big reason is that they are full of flavour, and healthier too. The domesticated wheat has been tweaked and tuned every year to produce bigger yields, resist disease, and improve on other factors affecting the economics of farming. Along the way, the actual quality (flavour and nutrition) of the crop has suffered. Kamut, for example, is a type of wheat that researchers figure is close to the crop grown in Egypt over 4000 years ago and it packs a healthy punch.
Most interesting is that kamut has shown no ill-affects for people who are severely allergic to wheat. Ancient grains are proving to work nicely with gluten-free diets. They also say that the need to avoid gluten is our body’s natural reaction to the monotony of always eating one-kind-of-wheat and one-kind-of-corn. Adding ancient grains into the mix should keep your stomach happier.
It turns out, I’ve already written about an “ancient grain” without even knowing it when I covered the nutritional aspects of the chia plant. Yes, that’s chia as in Ch-ch-ch-chia pets!
- Source: Modern Market Rediscovers Ancient Grains via McGill University