Thursday, May 13, 2010

M is for millet

Another botanical topic!
(n. a cereal grass)
(from The Macquarie Dictionary:
1. a cereal grass, Setaria italica, extensively 
cultivated in Asia and in southern Europe for 
its small seed or grain (used as a food for man
and fowls) but in the US grown chiefly for fodder.)

You drought-resistant grasses
the multiracial members of your clan
have fed the exponential growth
of humankind for centuries with elan.

Ten thousand years ago, the gatherers
left their hints on grinding stone and bowl
In modern times for the wheat-intolerant
you play a critical role.

In India you're making flat bread
In East Africa, you ferment for beer
You're in juggling balls with birdseed
You're so adaptable my dear!

I used to eat your puffed up grain
as a substitute for wheat
but no! say the experts, you're not for us
who have thyroid disease to beat.

So there we have your yin and yang
the dark and light of millet -
selective benefit for man, fowl, beast
& misplaced enthusiasm - chill it!

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