Are we soon running out of wheat and other grains?

Are we soon running out of wheat and other grains?


Wheat is now a staple food in many cultures around the world. but this wasn’t always the case. wheat and many other grains such as barley, rice, sorghum and millet were domesticated a few thousand years ago, it is the large scale growing of wheat that allowed populations to grow large and concentrate in areas which later became cities, the plantation style growing of wheat allowed ancient civilizations such as Sumer and Egypt to develop, farmers grew wheat on very large farms, harvested it and stored them in sacks in granaries to be used many months later in times of hardship or food shortages, there are some instances in which wheat became a unit of exchange, a currency of some sort. it allows empires to grow large and powerful, the Nile Valley in Egypt for instance was very fertile allowing Egyptians to grow wheat, barely and other grains every single year, this gave the ancient Egyptians a stable food source and security, other civilizations even had to come to Egypt to trade with them for grain during times of draughts in their home countries. there are many Hieroglyphic drawings today of Egyptians growing, harvesting and storing wheat and also baking bread using the grain.

The Region of Mesopotamia, now modern day Iraq used to be famous for vast plantations of wheat in the ancient times, empires  such as Sumer, Akkadian, Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian rose and fell in these regions during the periodic changes in the fertility of the land around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. reliable access to grain in the Ancient times was more valuable than gold and silver, with it empires grew large and Powerful but without it Empires Collapsed into the ruins. Every other civilization that came after it were also relying on the growth of wheat as a staple food crop, for instance Ancient Greece and Rome relied on the vast fertile Nile valley for their supply of wheat. Cleopatra an Egyptian Queen once said to Roman Emperor Julius Caesar that Rome was Made great by the wealth of Egypt, what she actually meant was that its the endless supply of wheat and other grains from the Nile valley in Egypt that made the roman empire function properly as an imperial state. the citizens of Rome were heavy consumers of wheat which was brought in from Egypt through the Mediterranean sea by merchant ships daily. The Romans could not get enough of the Egyptian Grain.

The wheat and other grains also played an important role in the industrial revolutions  of Europe, the abundance of the grain allowed European populations to bloom from small towns of just a few thousand to become cities harboring millions of inhabitants. when they invented machinery such as tractors which allowed grain to be grown on very large farms. their populations shot through the roof as their citizens could not starve now from bad harvest. their insatiable demand for more grain for their populations and demand for raw materials for their industries nudged European powers to seek more land overseas to grow their crops, this led to the colonization of most part of the world by European Powers in the Sixteenth, Seventeenth, Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries.

There are many countries in the World today who are major producers of wheat, and the largest ones being Russia and Ukraine, other countries also produce wheat but also on a smaller scale. but current geopolitical situation that began in February 2022 is threatening that kind of supply, and countries like Egypt that depend very heavily on grain from Russia and Ukraine are really going to suffer a lot. we hope the situation changes for the better in the near future so that things could turn back to normal and the ordinary civilians go back to their old ways of living.



Scroll to Top