Subscribe to the Blackle Newsletter

Eco Search


Cultivating the New ‘Wonder Grain’

With the increase of soil degradation and a rapidly changing – some might say temperamental – climate, food diversity is continually challenged as some crops can no longer tolerate the fluctuations in the environment.

This may be in part why certain regions in America have begun cultivating crops like teff, a cereal crop with origins in Ethiopia, that are able to withstand harsh climate conditions.

Teff is a light, nutty flavored grain that thrives in Ethiopia and Eritrea. It is a small grain, about the size of a poppy-seed, and can be anywhere from ivory to dark reddish-brown in color.

Perhaps due to its small size, teff is quick-cooking, which saves on fuel during preparation. Even in difficult climates, including areas that are waterlogged or enduring periods of drought, teff grows efficiently. Unlike wheat, which has optimal growth at 60 degrees Fahrenheit, teff can thrive in temperatures of the upper nineties. In addition, you need only one pound of teff seeds to grow an acre’s worth, whereas it takes one-hundred pounds of wheat to grow an acre’s worth. Plus, that single pound of teff takes only 12 weeks to produce up to one ton of grain.

In Ethiopia, teff is a staple in native cuisine and an important source of nutrition – making up two-thirds the protein eaten by the average Ethiopian. Its small size also makes it easy to grind manually for flour making. This is quite helpful for developing communities and rids the need of a modern mill.

Although used to make flour, teff is also enjoyed eaten as a hot cereal, as one would with oats or quinoa. One cup of cooked teff has the equivalent calcium content, at 123 mg, to that of a half-cup of cooked spinach. In fact, teff leads all other grains in calcium content by a large stretch. It is also estimated that 20-40 percent of the carbohydrates found in teff are resistant starch, which has been called the “third fiber” and is thought to help regulate digestion and help manage weight.

Along with leading in nutrient content, teff is virtually free of the diseases found in other cereal crops. And to top it all off, teff is gluten free, making it not only adaptive to different climates, but allowing it to serve as a major source of nutrients in a variety of diets. Especially in the diets of those with Celiac disease.

At the moment, regions of great diversity – from the Idaho and Kansas, to Australia, India, and Canada – have begun to cultivate this tiny wonder of a grain.

Image Source

If you read this far, we assume you found this post interesting. Please help Blackle Mag thrive by sharing it using the social media buttons below.

What did you think of this post? Let us know in the comments below.

Visit out sister site blackle.com
© 2019 Heap Media | Privacy Policy & Terms