Sorghum berries provide a nutritious alternative for people. (Kay Ledbetter/Texas A&M AgriLife)
By Kay Ledbetter, Texas A&M University College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
- Many producers see sorghum as being primarily for animal consumption, but it is for human consumption as well
- Sorghum is a gluten-free grain extremely high in B vitamins, magnesium, iron and fiber. It cooks like rice, but has more protein than rice and corn
- Sorghum is grown in large quantities in the Texas panhandle
“How many of y’all eat sorghum?”
That’s the first question Lizabeth Gresham, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service family and community health agent in Potter County, asked a group of producers and seed representatives at a recent sorghum field day west of Amarillo.
Gresham spoke at the field day to share the message of AgriLife Extension’s new Path to the Plate program, designed to help producers and consumers understand the relationship between agriculture and their health.
“Many producers see sorghum as being primarily for animal consumption, but it is for human consumption as well,” she said. “We produce a lot of sorghum up here in the Texas Panhandle, but many of us may not be utilizing the grain in our daily diet.”
Sorghum is extremely high in B vitamins, magnesium, iron and fiber, Gresham said. It is an antioxidant and considered a whole grain because it has all three parts of the kernel intact: the germ, the bran and the endosperm.
“With sorghum grown in large quantities in Texas, we need to think about market availability and education on how to consume and utilize sorghum in our daily diet,” she said. “It’s great for your blood pressure and controlling cholesterol and keeping us healthy.”
Sorghum is a gluten-free grain, so it is celiac safe to use in baked goods, Gresham said. It has a nutty, earthy flavor and crunchy texture that can add versatility to many dishes.
“You can even pop it just like popcorn for a great snack.”