Tigrai Online April 01, 2013
Sometimes we tend not to give enough value to our own natural wealth, culture, and traditions and this is the case when it comes to Teff or Taff (Tigrigna) the wonder Ethiopian grain.
Even though injera (a spongy flat bread) is Ethiopian’s main staple food, there are some misunderstandings in many Ethiopian people injera is bad for you, but it is not true. For the purpose of this article when we are talking about injera we are referring to injera mainly made from teff or taff.
Teff the smallest grain in the world measuring only about one to two millimeters across was fully domesticated in the highlands of northern Ethiopia about 3000 to 1000 BC. Taff accounts to about 25 % of all grain production in Ethiopia.
Teff grows in most parts of the highlands of Ethiopia and a little bit in Southern Eritrea. Recently farmers in Australia and the United States started to experiment with growing Taff. Teff is cooked as injera most of the time mixed with barley or wheat.
Teff has the highest content of calcium compared to other grains like wheat and corn, about 123 mg per cup cooked. The calcium content found in Teff is very similar to spinach.
Teff is an excellent source of resistance starch, which is a dietary fiber with huge benefits on balancing blood sugar in our body. About 40% of the carbohydrates in Teff are resistance starch which also is very beneficial in colon health and weight management.
This ancient grain is high in vitamin C which is minimal in most grains. Teff is also a great source of protein.
Teff, a gluten free whole grain is a wonder grain tiny in size but loaded in nutrition. Ethiopians have been growing, harvesting and eating teff for thousands of years.
Western nutritional scientists have done all the studying and analyzing of Taff and realizing it is a grain that has to be explored. In connection to the benefits of Teff a Holland company has been trying to patent it, but the Ethiopian people and government are fighting it.
Ethiopians and the whole world in general should be thankful to our forth fathers for domesticating taff. We should eat injera and be happy and healthy.