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Amaranth is an ancient Aztec superfood that was also a staple grain for the Incas and other pre-Colombian civilizations.Many native peoples were as likely to grow and eat amaranth grains as they were to eat corn.This has led to increased interest and experimentation with prehistoric wheat varieties from the more common to those that were formerly even harder to find like unpearled barley, buckwheat groats, rye berries and sorghum.
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.
Ancient grains are loosely defined as grains that are essentially the same as they've been for hundreds to thousands of years, as opposed to grains that in the last 50-75 years have been widely altered and/ or cross-bred.
Modern wheat has been almost continuously bred and “enhanced” so that it bears no resemblance to ancient grains.
As with any supply and demand challenge if there is enough demand the market will find a way to fill the need.
With this increase in demand we will continue to add ancient grains to our list of available products as we are able to find more good suppliers.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.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.Ancient grains are absolutely more nutritious than refined grain products (i.e. Many ancient grains have long thrived with lower levels of fertilizers, irrigation and pesticides, making them an appealing choice to consumers who also shop with the intentions of minimizing their carbon footprint.In actuality, the best way to get the widest array of nutrients in your diet is to eat a variety of diverse ancient or whole grain foods.In the past three years, so-called "ancient grains" have literally exploded onto the American food scene.While there are numerous grains that can be considered "ancient", some of the most popular in the US have been amaranth, barley, bulgur, kamut, millet, spelt, teff, wheat berries and of course quinoa.Legend has it that the early Chinese thought of millet as one of five sacred crops and that the Chinese planted it even before they started domestically cultivating rice.The Incas called Quinoa the “mother of grains” and this grain was so sacred that each year it was the Inca emperor who broke the soil and planted the first seeds with a golden spade.