International Year of Millets, 2023

Early last year I noted India's proposal to make 2018 the International Year of Millets (IYOM) and its subsequent rolling out of its own National Year of Millets in the same year. Apparently that IYOM proposal, submitted to FAO too late in 2017 to realistically have a chance, has been working its way through the … Continue reading International Year of Millets, 2023

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An International Year of Millets?

India is celebrating 2018 as its National Year of Millets. This follows a proposal by the government of India to the United Nations (UN) in late 2017 to make 2018 the International Year of Millets (which I'll abbreviate IYOM). The purpose of IYOM would have been to highlight the importance of diverse millets for for … Continue reading An International Year of Millets?

[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