With population growth and increasing concerns for food insecurity, we must find more crops to decrease these concerns.
Amaranth was previously eaten by the Aztecs and Native Americans. However, after the Spanish colonization, the seed decreased in popularity. However, some countries such as India and Bolivia still consume the seed.
Amaranth is an ancient pseudocereal that is gluten-free. There are around 60 species of amaranth that have been cultivated for over 8000 years. The seed is very high in fibre, protein, antioxidants and also contains a range of important micronutrients. It is a good source of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.
Countries such as China have been researching the seed for approximately 30 years. China has expanded its amaranth production, harvesting 800,000 tonnes in 2017, with future plans to increase production to 60 million tonnes.
Amaranth could also be a super crop, providing high-value animal feeds at a low cost. There is an opportunity for amaranth to replace tradition feed as it has a high nutritional value (26% crude protein, 4% crude fat, 35% fibre, and 34% carbohydrates). This could reduce the cost of meat production by 10-20%.
Amaranth is also produced right here in Australia. It is produced in the southwest of Western Australia and inland from Queensland and New South Wales.
Why don’t you give amaranth a try today? It can be found in Woolworths and IGA stores in the form of flour and seed.