Move Over Quinoa, It’s Teff’s Turn
An interesting story in The Guardian this week argues that teff—an ancient Ethiopian grain—is poised to be the next global super grain. Teff is rich in calcium, iron, and protein. It’s gluten-free, and makes an outstanding substitute for wheat flouwer in most baked goods. And it’s an Ethiopian staple, most often ground into flour to make injera, large spongy, fermented pancakes used to scoop up stews (called wots).
The Ethiopian government is excited to raise the profile of teff. Classified as a least-developed country and with an annual gross domestic product of about $470 per capita, the government hopes that increased global demand for teff could provide some relief to Ethiopian farmers who produce the vast majority of the world’s teff supply. But as the experiences of Bolivia and Peru (and the case of quinoa) suggest, increasingly popular stables in global markets can disrupt local production, leading to malnutrition and hunger amid growing food exports. It’s a situation that warrants watching.