Smart Food crops are highly nutritious, being high in protein, vitamins and minerals. Millets are gluten free and easily digestible. Legumes are affordable protein sources. Proteins help build and repair muscles and tissues. Escalating levels of diabetes can be prevented or managed by including low glycemic index foods such as sorghum and millets in the diet. They are also high in antioxidants which help to lower risks or fight against chronic diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes,and some forms of cancer.
Good for the Planet
Smart Food crops are most resilient and best survive the harsh environments present in the drylands. Hence, they are climate-smart crops.
In times of drought, millets are practically the last crop standing. Millets, sorghum and legumes have close to the lowest water and carbon footprints of all crops.
The climate resilience of these crops means that they are a good risk-management strategy for farmers. Legumes have an important role to play in soil nutrition and, when rotated with other crops, even increase the water-use efficiency of the entire crop rotation. Their multiple uses and untapped demand means that they have a lot more potential. Plus, unlike other crops they have not yet reached a yield plateau and have great potential for productivity increases.
About Smart Food
Some of the biggest global issues today are poor diets, environmental damage and poverty.
Smart Food – food that is good for you, the planet and the farmer – addresses all these issues in unison.
We need to bring in more diversity in our diets in order to tackle malnutrition, lifestyle diseases (e.g. diabetes) and environmental issues (e.g. climate change and water scarcity) along with poverty.
The Smart Food initiative will lead a campaign to drive demand for these underutilized foods and to develop farmer-integrated value chains for these crops. This will ensure that farmers and rural communities in Africa and India benefit from the development of diverse, healthful foods.
Six compelling reasons to switch to Smart Food
- Diabetes –Sorghum and millets have low glycemic index
- Celiac disease –They are gluten free
- Osteoporosis –Finger millet is high in calcium
- Anemia –Pearl millet is high in iron
- Hypertension- Sorghum and millets are rich in antioxidantsancer –Sorghum and millets are rich in antioxidants.
- Pearl millet is high in iron, zinc and folic acid, which are critical for health of the mother as well as baby
- Millets and sorghum have low glycemic index to help manage gestational diabetes
- Millets, sorghum and grain legumes contain high fibre that help prevent constipation.
Finger millet has three times the amount of calcium than milk. Calcium is essential for the growth of strong, healthy bones and teeth.
Finger millet is rich in iron which is important for making hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying red pigment in blood.
Each time you replace some of the high carbon footprint foods such as rice and meat with millet, sorghum and legumes, you make a climate-smart choice – a small contribution that adds up eventually.