Barley — for Food, not Beer — Shows Real Promise for Export & Domestic Markets

Barley water, anyone?

While most Canadians associate eating barley as beef and barley soup, this ancient grain is actually much more flexible than that. In some countries, barley is already considered a premium ingredient, thanks to verified health claims, and is consumed as a drink or in noodles and baking, says Linda Whitworth, market development manager for the Alberta Barley Commission.

And there’s plenty of potential for Canadian food barley here at home, too, she says.

Whitworth, in her role with ABC, is focused on developing these overseas markets and the food market here at home through building awareness of how to use this healthy cereal in our everyday meals. Whitworth is also co-author of a cook book that shares the name of the ABC’s website GoBarley.com.

In the interview below, Whitworth shares what makes barley special, what kind of products it’s used in and how the food barley varieties stack up agronomically versus malt and feed lines available to farmers.

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