Amaranth may be `grain of the future'

The self-seeding, easily grown amaranth plant was cultivated as long ago as the early 1500s, during the days of Montezuma's Aztec empire, and to this day it is grown by a few small farmers in Mexico and Central and South America. Seeds also found their way to Asia, where the plant has spread steadily during the past century throughout India and the Himalayas.

And now, the National Academy of Sciences' 10-year study of heretofore unknown, neglected, or overlooked plant resources reveals that the amaranth plant is heavily loaded with proteins, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, it has the potential to become ``the grain of the future,'' with broad implications for solving the world's food problems.

Each amaranth plant, of which there are some 60 species, contains about half a million seeds which are richer in protein than other common grains.

The broad green leaves, which taste like spinach, exceed other plants in calcium and iron content.

In the United States only a small number of farmers are growing amaranth, the seeds of which can be ground into flour and made into bread, rolls, crackers, cereals, soups, pancakes, fillings, dumplings, and even beverages.

Fortunately, amaranth thrives in a variety of environments -- wet and dry, hot and cold -- and in various soils and altitudes. Hence it offers the potential for rapid expansion into large-scale production.

In the wake of these recent findings on the nutritional value of amaranth and its broad adaptability to growing conditions, private companies and academic institutions are engaged in extensive research on the uses and development of amaranth as a food.

Readers interested in experimenting with amaranth seeds and flour for growing and cooking can obtain them by mail order from Walnut Acres, Penns Creek, Pa. 17862.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK