[LI] Sapir-Whorf in our millet? Vocabulary & food diversity

Most English speakers on hearing "millet" would understand a small round grain commonly sold as birdseed, and which also finds its way into multigrain foods. In that, they wouldn't be off, but the term itself, generic as it is, arguably leads to thinking about a variety of related but distinct grains as being vaguely the … Continue reading [LI] Sapir-Whorf in our millet? Vocabulary & food diversity

Four millets: More grains & the “millet spectrum”

The word "millet" in English is an inexact term. It can refer to any one of a number of cereals that have roundish grains, of which the four most cultivated worldwide - pearl/bajri, foxtail/xiaomi, proso, and finger/ragi - have been highlighted in the previous posts in this series. It can also refer collectively to all … Continue reading Four millets: More grains & the “millet spectrum”

Four millets: 3. Foxtail millet, or xiaomi

Foxtail millet (Setaria italica) is the oldest cultivated millet, the most important in East Asia, and the second most cultivated worldwide. It is believed to have been domesticated first in China, with evidence of cultivation going back about 8700 years. The species name as well as some vernacular names reflect its historic significance in Europe. … Continue reading Four millets: 3. Foxtail millet, or xiaomi

Four millets: 1. Pearl millet, or bajri

Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) is the first if the four millets to be described in this series of posts. It is the most widely cultivated of the millets and the sixth most important grain worldwide. Being primarily a tropical and semi-arid land crop, it is not well known in the West. Probably first domesticated in … Continue reading Four millets: 1. Pearl millet, or bajri

Four millets: Recognizing the differences

"Millet" can actually refer to any one of several related but distinct kinds of grains, though you wouldn't know it seeing the term in lists of ingredients, statistics on crop production and trade, or some articles about food and nutrition (for example, this otherwise nice article on FoodTank.org). The good news is that (1) each … Continue reading Four millets: Recognizing the differences