Viewpoint: ‘Ancient grains’ can transform your health? Probably not—and they’re more recent than you think

black and white quinoa grains

KHORASAN, teff, emmer and amaranth. No, these aren’t planets in the next Star Wars movie, but some of the growing range of wheat alternatives that are increasingly filling supermarket shelves (and “wellness guru” Instagram feeds) everywhere. Said to be untouched by modern plant breeders, who have apparently rendered wheat an unhealthy option, these “ancient grains” can supposedly transform your health.

Here’s the first thing: ancient grains are often anything but. Take quinoa. The seeds of this South American plant are thought to have been bred for human consumption as recently as 3000 years ago, making it only a third of
the age of bread wheat.

Related article:  Cavendish banana faces extinction. Can scientists save this staple before it's too late?

ADVERTISEMENT

In fact, many ancient grains aren’t even true grains (the seeds of grass plants) …. Semantics aside, are they more nutritious? This seems to have been investigated only very recently. With most of the best studies published in
the past five years or so, the health claims appear to predate much of the evidence.

Studies examining the nutritional composition of ancestral wheats like emmer, einkorn and khorasan compared with modern bread wheat tend to have found a wide variation between samples, which makes comparing them tricky.

Read full, original article: Ancient grains are misnamed and their health benefits are unconfirmed (Behind Paywall)

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Infographic: Here’s where GM crops are grown around the world today

Do you know where biotech crops are grown in the world? This updated ISAAA infographics show where biotech crops were ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

* indicates required
Email Lists
Send this to a friend