Food For Thought : Millet Mania
Millets are picking up and it is extremely uplifting to see that they have entered the mainstream market in the form of a force that is to be reckoned with. This brings along with it a manifold of positive and promising beckoning.
Millets have been a staple in the Indian diet from time immemorial. Our ancestors consumed this as part of their daily diet and lead lives that were free from lifestyle diseases. Over time, we lost our way and switched to anything and everything that was not from our land. The colonial era left a deep impact on us and we began to look toward the foreign world for products that we assumed were of superior quality.
Now, we have begun to see the way forward and have woken up from our deep slumber of disdain towards local produce. People are slowly beginning to become more aware and conscious of what they eat and are looking towards the wisdom of our wise forbearers who had cultivated a group of crops that are true ‘super-foods’.
They are nutrient rich and unlike the modern refined form of grains that are cultivated in the western world, that are then sent to Asian countries as a ‘revelation’ in the weight loss frontier, these grains do not provide empty calories. Rather, they are filled with essential vitamins and amino acids, which we lack in other forms of food.
Not only are these millets healthy, they are quite flavoursome as well. In fact, millets are now used to make snacks such as Kodo millet mixture, Foxtail ribbons and other such South Indian snacks varieties. People of all ages are embracing them for their meals and snacks, right from kids who take it to school for snack breaks to elders who have it along with their coffee.
Restaurants proudly display these millets as ingredients in their menu cards, and urban dwellers are flocking to different places to try these out and maybe, prepare them at home. While it is funny to see such a spark of interest in the urban areas where people believe they have witnessed a revelation, those in the rural pockets of the Southern region have always proudly consumed these millets.
Farmers too are benefitted due to this rise in demand for millet grains. They are able to cultivate these indigenous varieties of grains and are able to find a market not just in the rural locations but also in urban centres as well. By incorporating millets into our diet, we are helping the farmers make a living and incentive to continue to cultivate these crops. So, keep that in mind and munch away to good health and prosperity!