September 03, 2017

04/09/2017: “Study the past if you would define the future” - Confucius who lived 550BC

by Roger Gilbert, CEO, Perendale Publishers LTD and Trustee of M4L

As millers we must be acutely aware of our beginnings if we are to address successfully the challenges that confront the food industry of the future
Roger Gilbert

The history of cereals, and wheat in particular, can be traced back over millennia and which was the subject of a keynote presentation made at the recent Global Milling Conference in Hamburg, Germany in May, 2017.

And although some of the detail that scientists use to reconstruct the development of wheat from Einkorn to its modern-day varieties on which the planet now depends still leaves much to the imagination.

Einkorn - an ancient cereal out of the ice However, in June 2017 the Flour World Museum, which is a hall of fame of flour sacks located in Wittenburg just outside Hamburg, in norther Germany, and created by Volkmar Wywiol of the ingredient company Muhlenchemie GmBH, officially opened the ‘Ötzi’s Einkorn Room 08’ which is now home to the only replica outside Italy of the Ötzi Iceman, the almost undamaged body of a man found where his lived 5300 years ago.

He had been preserved in a glacier in the Boizano Alps in Southern Europe and discovered in 1991. Hidden in his fur coat were two grains of Einkorn; evidence of early agriculture in the alpine region. He had also recently eaten a meal of cereal prior to his death.

Einkorn is the oldest cultivated wheat variety and as an ancient cereal it has become popular again today. The Wittenburg Museum is proud to display the only replica of this famous figure outside the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy.

Why is this important to us you may ask? The importance is that we can identify with this individual, who demonstrates clearly that mankind, in Europe in particular, relied on wheat to sustain himself through the ages and certainly from the Neolithic copper age period.

Our Milling4Life charity is aiming to assist the development of milling in transitional countries - those moving from poor or insufficient nutritional diets for their population to an adequate or sound nutritional base.

As millers we have the responsibility of processing and preparing a wide variety of grains grown for food into fit-for-purpose nutritional products that can be readily turned into highly digestible and nutritious foodstuffs for consumers.

In fact, we know that it takes very few milling companies to supply food to a vast section of the world’s population.

Read the full article, HERE.

The Global Miller
This blog is maintained by The Global Miller staff and is supported by the magazine Milling and Grain
which is published by Perendale Publishers Limited.

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