Read the full article in ETHealth World by Shahid Akhter
The Central Government of India and State Government of Karnataka in specific has been looking at bringing these grains back from a security standpoint of nutrition as well.
Shahid Akhter, editor, ETHealthworld spoke to Prashant Parameswaran, Managing Director & CEO at Kottaram Agro Foods, Bengaluru to know about recent trends in ancient grains, millet in particular.
Millet as grain (Trends)
With the onset of the green revolution, the production of millets had diminished significantly over the last 50 years, and hence, consumption had also reduced.
Consumption of millets was minimum as rice, wheat, and corn were the mainstay of the commercial crops. However, as the world has moved from sheer hunger satisfaction to nutritional satisfaction, the revival of India’s ancient grains and ancient global grains have found its relevance. Globally, there are other grains like Quinoa, the Peruvian grain, Millets in India, Teff and Amaranth in other parts of the world as well. Each of these grains bring more to the table in terms of nutritional diversity, and this is where they are making its case and point.
Millet as a grain (Benefits and comparison with other modern grains)
Benefits are put it into two parts- one is what is right from a consumer view, and the other is what is significant from an environmental viewpoint.
Ragi or Nachni has ten times the amount of calcium than rice or wheat, which is extremely good for bones. The amount of vitamins and minerals is almost 2-3 times than commercial crops. In ancient times, these grains were used to keep people full for a longer time which is essentially what the consumers of today want and hence the complex carbohydrates of millets also help in keeping the sugar levels low and not have spikes in blood sugar
From an environmental perspective, millet uses 1/10th the amount of water that rice requires. They barely need any inputs like fertilizers, and hence it is right for you, for the farmer, for the environment and thus called smart food.