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  • Jefferson Adams

    Can Ancient Grains and Gluten-Free Beer Help Local Farmers Save the Environment?

    Jefferson Adams

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      African farmers are using ancient grains like millet and sorghum to drive a new business in gluten-free craft beer and to preserve the environment.

    Celiac.com 06/19/2019 - Ancient gluten-free grains are helping African farmers to gain profit and save the environment by producing gluten-free beer that is safe for people with celiac disease.  In Africa, local framers are growing nutritious, ancient gluten-free grains like corn and millet. In the process, they are growing a new economy, saving the environment, and brewing a delicious gluten-free beer that's safe for celiacs. It's a recipe for success.

    Gluten-Free Ancient Grains Are Nutritious

    Gluten-free ancient grains like millet and sorghum are rich in nutrients. They are also high in protein and antioxidants. Pearl millet, for example, has twice the protein of milk and sorghum is rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. These crops are also drought-resistant, making them suitable for dry, hot climates. However, farmers tend to grow more popular crops like maize, wheat, rice, and soybeans. 

    Gluten-Free Beer Helps Local Farmers

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    Now, African farmers are using ancient grains like millet and sorghum to drive a new business in gluten-free craft beer and to preserve the environment. Since millet and sorghum are both gluten-free, they can be used to anchor brewing recipes for delicious, gluten-free beers. By sourcing grains from locally farmers, the brewers help to support local economies and community members. 

    Drought Resistant Grains Help Save Environment

    And because millet and sorghum need significantly less water than wheat, and require less fertilizer and pesticide, growing them helps farmers to preserve the environment.

    Who knew that growing nutritious, ancient gluten-free grains could help local framers, save the environment, and result in a delicious gluten-free beer that's safe for celiacs? Talk about a winning plan. Stay tuned for more on this story.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,500 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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    Celiac.com 05/04/2011 - Agriculture officials in Colorado looking to increase millet sales are turning to beer-brewers for help. At present, millet makes up just a fraction of the cereal grains sold in the U.S. Each year, America produces just $50 million worth of millet, compared to several billion dollars worth of wheat, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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    Celiac.com 05/14/2013 - Despite the fact that millet is more nutritious than wheat, as well as other gluten-free grains, modern science lacks the processing technologies to manufacture it on a large scale. Millet is an age-old grain, however we have yet to harness its full potential due to this drawback.
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