Berkeley Food Institute: With a generous Seed Grant from the Berkeley Food Institute in 2015, we are beginning to explore the scope of rediscovering the traditions of cultivating millets, and further reintroducing them into our diet.
Kelly Swanson, a professor of comparative nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his team found that simply adding a fiber-enriched snack bar to subjects’ daily diets could swing microbial profiles in a matter of weeks. In a small study of 21 healthy adults with average U.S. fiber intake, one daily fiber snack bar (containing 21 grams of fiber) for three weeks significantly increased the number of Bacteroidetes bacteria and decreased the number of Firmicutes compared with levels before the study or after three weeks of eating fiber-free bars. Such a ratio—of more Bacteroidetes to fewer Firmicutes—is correlated with lower BMI. The findings were published in the January issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.; Picture Credit: Joe Belanger/Thinkstock
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States highlights traditional crops every month. They highlighted Finger Millet (Eleusine coracana) in Nov 2014; Picture Credit: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
http://www.tsubutsubu.jp/english/ , courtesy N. Ichikawa
A group of priestesses discuss their plans before setting off in search of ‘vanishing’ millet varieties from a neighbouring village in eastern India. Photo credit: Manipadma Jena/IPS
“Members of the forest-dwelling Dongria Kondh tribe, who worship these hills as the sacred abode of their god Niyam Raja, these women are priestesses, known in the local dialect as ‘bejuni’.
The ceremony today is the first stage in a journey to a neighbouring village to collect a rare variety of heirloom millet, the traditional staple food source of the 10,000-strong tribe.
The hardy, highly nutritious cereal was once cultivated on massive swathes of farmland throughout India. Here on the Niyamgiri Hills, the Dongria Kondh tribe has long sworn by the benefits of millet and dedicated stretches of the mountainside to its production.
Over the past several decades, however, industrial and extractive development in the resource-rich state has swallowed up many acres of land and pushed the drought-resilient crop to the sidelines.”