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Arts & Culture

Spotlighting an ancient superfood that is shaping our future

Graphic of millets

The United Nations’ designation of 2023 as the ‘International Year of Millets’ cast a radiant spotlight on these ancient grains and their ongoing renaissance in diets across the world. In recognition of their growing cultivation and consumption across the globe, Google Arts & Culture has launched a new digital hub, “Millets: Seeds of Change,” in collaboration with India’s Union Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare. The online resource outlines the rich heritage that has earned millet the ‘superfood’ label, as well as appreciation in potentially addressing global food security concerns.

A small-seed cereal crop native to Asia and Africa, with a history of cultivation in the Indus River Valley’s Harappan civilization dating back to c. 2500 BCE, millets now feature in the diets and lifestyles of approximately 1.2 billion people around the world. Not only does this gluten-free crop have relatively higher proportions of complex carbohydrates, proteins, and micronutrients, including essential vitamins and minerals, compared to traditional cereals, it is highly adaptable to different climate conditions, requiring lesser water, chemical interventions and time to grow, and can be stored for longer periods of time. All these facets make this crop ideal for addressing nutrition deficiencies, and safeguarding global food security from the growing threat of climate change.

Millets: Seeds of Change exhibit in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare

The digital exhibit shares even more information about the many superpowers of these nutri-cereals and how they’ve become agricultural gamechangers. Open a new chapter in your culinary journey with simple and delicious recipes from celebrated chefs, including award-winner Chef Thomas Zacharias, who is spearheading an exciting millet revival movement in kitchens across the world. And, after learning about the way of the grain, test your knowledge about millets with quizzes and crosswords.

Shri Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare: “When India spearheaded the UNGA resolution to declare 2023 the International Year of Millets, we did so with the objective of sharing our agricultural practices and experiences with the world. We were gratified to see ‘Shree Anna’, which holds immense potential for multiplier impact - including offering India’s small farmers a doorway to prosperity - receiving interest during the global G20 Summit. Our hope and ambition is that the conversations that have been generated over the past year translate into the advantages of millets spreading farther and wider. I thank Google Arts & Culture for supporting us in this endeavor with a dedicated digital exhibit.”

Given its multitude of benefits for human and ecological well being, it is little surprise that this food group is witnessing a global resurgence. We have been proud to lend our technology and platform to support its growing popularity. Nourish your mind learning more about this incredible crop on the Google Arts & Culture website, or via the app available on iOS and Android.

Happy exploring!