What is Teff?
Teff is a super tiny grain and is hailed for being the world's smallest grain. It's about the size of a poppy seed. Teff is a love grass Eragrotis Teff that is grown for its seeds cooked whole or used as flour. I have bought a gröt gryn (like porridge grit) or used it as flour here in Sweden. The flour usually comes in two colours a redish brown or white.
Teff was first grown in Ethiopia about 6000 years ago. It is a staple crop in Ethiopia and Eritrea (et-tree-ah), it is used mainly to make injera - a spongy flatbread eaten with most meals. The straw is used to feed cattle and in building materials.
Where else is it grown?
It is one of the staple grains of Ethiopia and Eritrea (era-tree-ah), as well as the United States from around 2017 in Idaho, California, Texas and Nevada, mainly used for feeding animals. South Africa, India, Germany, Netherlands and Spain. Also, I recently discovered it's grown in Australia.
What are the Challenges of Growing Teff?
Teff, a tiny grain the size of a poppy seed, must be planted shelled about 1/8 of an inch or the seedlings won't emerge.
Most traditional African farmers cut by hand with a sickle and process manually.
The cost of investing in machinery and innovation is hard for the local people. Most local people grow seeds for their own consumption and selling. The straw is often not sold but used for feed and construction.
Is Teff a Sustainable Superfood?
If I eat more teff flour it will be better for my Body!
Will the average person be interested in using teff weekly if it costs more, and it looks darker?
If I buy more teff flour, do I take food away from the local community in Africa?
Who benefits when alternative flour or grain becomes popular in other parts of the world?
I recently discovered that two restaurants in Gothenburg that serve Injera have the product flown in from Ethiopia once a week. Does that sound crazy?
Ethiopian background: Laterite.com