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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Foodie Feature: Milo and Oats (not Otis)

So it’s a well known fact that this wheat:

can be made into this bread -->

It’s also generally accepted that this corn is a key ingredient in these tortillas
<--                                         -->
But do you know what this is and where it is used?

This crop in this picture is milo, also known as sorghum.   It's a very drought and heat tolerant grain that is a key component of some livestock feeds, sorghum molasses and some adult beverages.  Sorghum is an used as a foodgrain across the globe but in many regions of the world, such as South America, India and Africa, sorghum is a staple in everyday diets.  Did you know that sorghum is the 5th most important cereal crop grown in the world?!  Sorghum is also highly palatable to livestock and is therefore used in the U.S. primarily as livestock feed.  It has more protein and fat than corn and doesn't decrease productivity.

Another important grain that rarely gets attention are oats.  This is what they look like on the stalk, prior to harvest.
But you probably see them more often looking like this -->
Did you know there are lots of other uses for oats?  Oats can be made into flour, used in cookies, mixed into horse and livestock feed and are commonly found in most granola bars.  Great Britain often uses oats in breweries when making beer.  Oat protein is nearly equivalent in quality to soy protein, which has been shown by the World Health Organization to be equal to meat, milk, and egg protein.  Oats are also believed to lower bad cholesterol and possibly reduce the risk of heart disease.  Oats provide the body with a ton of healthy benefits!

Sorghum/milo and oats are two grains that don't get very much well deserved attention.  Next time you're in the grocery store pick up some heart healthy granola bars and some sorghum molasses!

For more information on grains and crops visit

Until next time,

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