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In addition to their recently gained restaurant level acclaim, they are also making the transition from being mostly a food fad to becoming something that is found in more and more kitchens across the country.The challenge of getting more ancient grains into the American diet is a shortage in the supply chain.
High-end restaurants and chefs have been leading the way in their acceptance of ancient grains, with their own obsessions with all things local and sustainable.
These chefs have been reasonably successful in finding local sources for meat, fish, fruit and vegetables but other than some heirloom potatoes finding an authentic, and more important a flavorful, starchy carb has proven to be a bit more problematic.
Einkorn, emmer, farro and freekeh are considered ancient grains in the wheat family.
Some also consider black barley, blue corn and black and red rice to be ancient grains.
This is because each ancient or whole grain has something different to offer (from the high soluble fiber in barley, iron in amaranth, niacin in barley and calcium in teff), and there really isn’t any one single best healthy grain.
The rise in ancient grains is really part of the ongoing food revolution against processed food that is fueled by our yearning for healthier foods that our earlier ancestors ate.Unfortunately, in the quest for increasing corporate profits consumers have paid the real price.In prioritizing yields, broadening disease resistance and expanding product storage life, these modified grains have had their protein structures changed while toxin levels also inadvertently increased.Amaranth was considered a sacred crop by the Aztecs who used this grain to make ritual food and drink.One of the first grains cultivated by humans is the ancient grain millet.Ancient grains are also a natural progression that first started with our growing obsession with organic and then saw the American public embrace locally grown food including heirloom varieties.A step even further back into the past in search of purer, more natural foods just seems logical.Ancient grains’ place of origin (Africa, the Middle East and South America) and rich history draw us in.It’s intriguing to think that a grain like kamut had been discovered by archeologists in King Tut’s tomb.First they fit America’s ongoing obsession for the latest magic bullet when it comes to eating healthier.They also fit into the natural food trend movement that started with organic and then moved into local foods.