GLOBAL – The recent whole grain consumer insights survey by Oldways Whole Grains Council, a Boston nonprofit consumer advocacy group that encourages the consumption of whole grain products, found that 16% of respondents were avoiding carbohydrates. 

Even though this percentage is down from 18% in the 2021 survey, the study reveals that Gen Z and millennial consumers are increasingly avoiding carbohydrates.

Among those who said they were avoiding carbohydrates, 37% said they chose whole grains whenever available.

This trend has especially risen in the last few years, with thirty-nine percent of all respondents saying they started eating more whole grains in the past five years, and 61% said they choose whole grains at least half of the time.

Among all respondents, 77% think they should increase their whole grains intake, with 81% citing health as the major contributing factor and 39% citing taste.

When asked their favorite whole grain food, 34% of the respondents said bread, and 24% and 19% said oatmeal and popcorn, respectively.

Quinoa and buckwheat were the most recognized ancient grains in the survey, with over 70% and 60% of respondents saying they had heard of quinoa and buckwheat, respectively.

Buckwheat and maize promise to reduce world hunger

Another report conducted by researchers from the University of Bern, Switzerland, found that grains, especially maize and buckwheat, are critical to mitigating world hunger in the future.

According to the study, Buckwheat, which is considered an orphan crop, could reduce the strain placed on crops such as wheat, corn, and rice to continue providing nutrition to an exponentially growing global population.

New research, provides that buckwheat’s high-precision chromosomal-level genome sequence may lead to more efficient breeding in the future.

Moreover, scientists have engineered a new, self-fertile variety of buckwheat, which could go a long way in increasing grain options for the growing population and, therefore, solving world hunger to a great extent.

When it comes to maize, research by the University of Bern found that chemicals called benzoxazinoids released from the roots of maize crops can change the composition of microorganisms on the earth.

These benzoxazinoids can improve wheat yield by 4% with no compromise to the quality of the wheat grown.

A yield increase of 4% may not sound spectacular, but it is still significant considering how challenging it has become to enhance wheat yields without additional inputs,” said Matthias Erb, Professor for Biotic Interactions at the Institute of Plant Sciences and leader of the study.

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