Millet: The Next Quinoa?
As the challenges posed by growing global demand for quinoa increasingly come into focus, some farmers are advocating millet as a replacement. Like quinoa, millet is a protein-rich, gluten-free grain. But unlike quinoa, which grows best under cool, high altitude conditions, millet can be grown just about anywhere. It’s long been a staple grain in Africa and Asia, due in large part to its ability to withstand drought conditions and climatic stress.
But in the United States, millet suffers from an image problem. Widely used as birdseed in the United States, American consumers don’t view millet as a grain for human consumption. That’s where a group of farmers, with help from the Colorado Department of Agriculture, is working to change things. Hoping to increase its marketability, farmers are looking to adventurous chefs to promote the ancient grain. But its advocates concede they have a long way to go.