Could heritage grains, and the ancient ways they were grown, hold the key to restoring the staff of life to our modern diets? Long considered the Western world’s staple food, modern wheat has been drastically transformed over the past century by the food industry. With these changes, concerns have risen over intolerance and so-called “wheat belly.” What changed? The way that we grow our wheat and the modern varieties have made possible enormous harvests, but with those come steep hidden costs. Large industrial farming, dependent on monocultures and the heavy use of fertilizers and herbicides, have deleterious effects not only on our own health but on our land, water, and environment as a whole. Fortunately, heritage “landrace” wheats—crops that have been selected over generations to be well adapted to their local environments—do not need bio-chemical interventions to grow well and yield bountifully in organic fields. Yet these robust and diverse wheats that nourished our ancestors for generations are nearly extinct today. In Restoring Heritage Grains, author Eli Rogosa invites readers to discover “forgotten” grains: diverse, landrace wheat varieties such as emmer, a strain domesticated in the Fertile Crescent that is perfect for pasta and flatbreads; Rouge de Bordeaux, a French heritage wheat beloved by Europe’s artisan bakers; and delicious einkorn, the most ancient wheat of all, which is drought-resilient and heat-tolerant, and contains more protein and minerals than other grains. These and the many other heritage grains each have a lineage intertwined with that of the human species and can and should be grown once again. Combining the history of grain growing and society, in-depth practical advice on landrace wheat husbandry, wheat folktales and mythology, and recipes for beers, breads, and pastries, Restoring Heritage Grains invites readers to explore a rich history that has been overshadowed by modern industrial wheat. In the end, organically grown, diverse wheat may well be one of the best solutions to hunger, one that will be needed to feed the world’s growing population in the decades to come.
Item Number: 7943