What is Heritage Grain & Why Should We Use it?

Eating at a Meeting Podcast Episode 58

Smiling woman standing in a kitchen with her hands on her hips. She is The Grain LadyMona Esposito, aka “The Grain Lady,” is an activist and advocate of restoring heritage grains to Colorado. She is a resource for all things grain, in the field and in the kitchen.

Through the Noble Grain Alliance she co-founded in 2016 and founding board member of The Colorado Grain Chain in 2019, she is supporting and recreating the network of farmers, millers and makers needed to make a regional grain economy thrive.

Learn how Mona’s passion and commitment are helping encourage environmental sustainability, access to whole food-rich in flavor and nutrition, diversification on farms and supporting a community’s food resilience strategy.

She is making HERstory.

What do you do?

By supporting and recreating the network of farmers, millers and makers needed to make a regional grain economy thrive, I advocate of restoring heritage grains to Colorado.

With degrees in art history and linguistics, a career in photography, and an Italian mother Mona was perfectly poised for a life of travel and food. She is as at home in the garden as in the kitchen and was raised with the notion of food and place. She is currently working with growers, chefs, bakers and consumers as a heritage grain consultant. She has been an avid baker for over 15 years and teaches fermented bread, pasta and sweets workshops to increase grain literacy and share her passion for the superior flavor and nutrition you find in 100% whole heritage grains.

How did you get here?

I came to be involved in the local grain movement from the perspective of the consumer- as a home baker for many years, I was looking for local heritage grains to use in my baking and realized that grains were the final frontier in the farm to table movement.

How are you making a mark — HerStory — in the global food and beverage system to ensure it is safer, more sustainable and inclusive?

My story begins at the local level – I have worked with local farmers to trial and grow heritage and ancient wheats and have worked within the local food system to help create a sustainable local grain chain from farmer to consumer that supports their reintroduction. I see myself as a resource for consumers for the how and why of including whole, heritage grains in their kitchens.

What are your greatest career accomplishments?

My role in establishing a local grain chain in Colorado. But really we have only just begun. I hope to see these grains more accessible to all in the years to come.


Connect with Mona —  Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram

Check out the other women who are making HERstory in food and beverage

Check out other featured guests on the Eating at a Meeting podcast