Although the majority of barley grown in Canada is for malt and feed purposes, a small percentage of food (or hulless) barley, is also planted each year. Currently, food barley occupies the smallest percentage of seeded barley in all provinces. However, as the benefits of barley become more well-known, more producers are choosing to plant it. In 2017, the total area seeded with food barley was higher than it was in 2016.
SaskBarley works collaboratively with the Barley Council of Canada and other provincial barley commissions to further develop the food barley market. Although traditionally barley has been recognized as an ingredient in recipes such as beef barley soup, there are numerous ways barley can be used in food. Barley and its products add texture and flavour to soups, stews, salads, and countless other dishes. For more information and barley recipes, visit the Go Barley website.
Health benefits of barley
Barley is growing in popularity as a health food due to its high levels of fibre, antioxidants and other essential vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, folatate, zinc, potassium and more. Research has also shown that consuming barley can help with weight loss due to its low Glycemic Index, lower cholesterol and improve immune function. Health Canada has issued a health claim linking the consumption of barley beta-glucan, a type of soluble fibre, to reduced blood cholesterol.