Sorghum is a cereal grain that has been used for livestock feed and as a sweetener for hundreds of years. It is a high-yield plant that is drought resistant, which makes it one of the most efficient crops for solar energy conversion and use of water. Growing and processing this grain takes one-third less water than growing other cereal grains. It has great potential for easing world hunger because it is nutritious and can grow well in hot climates such as Africa, India, the Middle East, and South Australia. In the United States, it is grown mainly in the South.
The grain is currently being used more in food products. It is gluten-free, sweet, and acts as a binding agent. Substituting it for wheat flour, for example, results in gluten-free breads, wraps, and baking mixes. The natural sweetness eliminates the need for added sugar, so products using sorghum are healthier than those made with excess sugar. As a binding agent, it requires no eggs to be placed in mixes or final products. Hampton Creek, for example, uses sorghum as the main ingredient in Just Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. The product can be baked or eaten directly out of the jar. Cookies are delicious and healthy, and eating the raw dough is safe. No artificial ingredients or preservatives makes the product even healthier.
The cost-effectiveness of growing and processing sorghum has also helped lower the pricing on healthy alternatives. Products are as affordable as traditional options and are becoming readily available at large grocery stores, bargain dollar stores, and big-name department stores that contain a grocery section. The uses for the grain are expanding as more healthy food products are being developed. The use of sorghum for pancakes results in a gluten- and egg-free, all natural food that can be enjoyed by everyone. People with allergies to gluten, vegans, those with a sweet tooth, people wanting to eat healthier, and families in all income brackets can eat well. Cake and other dessert mixes, muffins, cookies, breads, and even pastas containing sorghum are either available now or will be released to the market in the near future.