Rye: Down-To-Earth, Intense And Healthy

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A strong, dark rye bread means pure enjoyment. Find out everything about rye, its nutritional values, and health benefits, e.g. B. why rye is healthier than wheat, what the phytic acid in the rye is all about, and how important the correct dough process is when baking rye bread.

Rye: A Grain in Art and Literature

Rye has fascinated artists all over the world for centuries. Painters like Vincent van Gogh never got tired of conjuring up rye fields in all variations on their canvases. Rye also plays a role again and again in literature. For example, he inspired the writer J.D. Salinger in 1951 to write his work “The Catcher in the Rye”, which has been burned into the memory of generations.

The protagonist in the book imagines himself standing on the edge of a steep cliff in a rye field and saving the children playing in it from falling into the abyss. The rye field stands for childhood, the cliff for adulthood.

But the rye by no means only has a symbolic character. Because it is one of the most important cereal species in human history.

The ancient rye or forest perennial rye: ancestor of today’s rye

Unlike many other sweet types of grass such as wheat and barley, rye (Secale cereale) is a cross-pollinating plant, which is why it was subject to much more natural selection and less to human selection. In relation to its domestication, rye, therefore, remains a mystery.

It is assumed that Secale ancestrale var. spontaneum from Asia Minor is the ancestor of our cultivated rye. Wild rye can still be found in central and eastern Turkey and in neighboring areas.

A special feature is the forest perennial rye, also known as ancient rye, Siberian ancient grain or Johannisrye. This is a so-called primitive form of cultivated rye, as in the case of emmer wheat. The locust rye was already cultivated in the Middle East 7,000 years ago.

Forest perennial rye now only adorns very few fields, for example in Lower Austria, in Rhineland-Palatinate or in the Swiss canton of Aargau, since the grains are much smaller and the yield is 50 percent lower than with conventional rye.

The aromatic ancient rye is often used to make mixed bread. In terms of health, the ancient grain stands out because it contains 50 percent more dietary fiber than conventional rye. According to a Polish study from 2019, primitive rye also has a higher content of secondary plant substances (phenolic compounds).

Rye: from weeds to grain

There are finds of rye from the time when the transition between gatherers and tillers took place. But then the grain disappeared from the scene and only reappeared at the beginning of the 2nd millennium BC. It is suspected that rye came to Europe unintentionally – as “impurity” – together with wheat grains.

Farmers began to take an interest in the supposed weeds in their wheat fields, as they were much less demanding than the wheat. In this way, rye was able to assert itself in the harsh climate of Central and Northern Europe and became the only bread grain used by the Celts, Slavs, and Germans. In Germany, rye was the most important breadfruit for more than 1,200 years and was therefore also referred to as “DAS Korn”.

Why wheat has replaced rye

How could it happen that wheat gradually replaced rye and became the most important grain in our part of the world? The wheat boom began in ancient times when so-called white bread became fashionable. Wheat was best suited for this because the grains are particularly light in color.

Even the ancient Greeks sifted out the bran from wheat flour to make it even lighter. Extracted flours have therefore been known for a very long time. But until the French Revolution, only the rich and powerful could afford the expensive white bread. Then, in the spirit of equality, the bread gradually became white for everyone.

Up until the 20th century, the poorer classes of society strived to have white bread on the table as often as possible. Was it a status symbol? In German hospitals, only upper-class doctors and patients were given white bread, while everyone else had to be content with dark bread, which was often gray bread, which was the term for moldy bread at the time.

At that time, however, no one knew that the light color had its price. Because of the health value of grain products, it is precisely those components of the grain that are removed during the production of white flour that is decisive.

What distinguishes wholemeal flour from flour

Extracted flour is lighter than wholemeal flour because it is only made from the inner core of the grain and therefore contains no shell parts. In comparison, with wholemeal flour, only the inedible awns and husks are removed, while the shells, the aleurone layer (the surface layer that separates the endosperm from the outer shell), and the germ – and thus the nutrients it contains – are almost completely preserved.

Many people think that the term white flour or white flour stands for light wheat flour. But there are also rye or spelled flours. It should also be said that rye naturally has a higher mineral content than wheat or spelled. That is why even rye flours are still more nutritious than flours made from wheat or spelled.

Especially for fine baked goods and pasta such as biscuits, cakes, and pasta, the flour has significantly better baking properties than wholemeal flour due to its low bran content.

What the type numbers of rye flour say

When you buy flour, you will find a type number on most flour packets. It indicates the mineral content of the flour (in mg per 100 g of flour). The higher the number, the richer in minerals the flour is. So contains z. B. the rye flour type 815 per kg a mineral content of 815 mg. Attention: The type numbers vary depending on the country.

In Germany, a distinction is made between rye extract flours, e.g. in between:

  • Type 815: It is used to bake light rye bread or biscuits and to make rye pasta.
  • Type 997: Is often used for mixed bread.
  • Type 1150: This flour is well suited for sourdough.
  • Type 1370: This stronger, dark rye flour is suitable for a hearty bread.
  • Type 1800: This is so-called rye grist, a very coarse, dark flour containing coarser pieces of grain. The bread tastes particularly strong. Baking grist is therefore a relatively dark flour, but not wholemeal flour.

In comparison to refined flour, real wholemeal flour does not have a type number. According to the standard, wholemeal flour must consist of all the components of the cleaned grains.

How flour is made

In the production of flour, the grain is first crushed, i.e. coarsely chopped. Then the inner core of the grain (the endosperm or endosperm) is separated from the shell parts z. B. separated by sieves or in an air stream. Between 30 and 60 percent of flour is obtained from 100 g of grist, which only contains components of the endosperm.

The nutritional values ​​of wholemeal rye flour and rye flour type 1150

Below we compare the nutrients of wholemeal rye flour and rye flour type 1150 to clarify the differences. We choose Type 1150 because it is the most commonly used.

In the comparison above, it is noticeable that the carbohydrate content of the two flours does not differ significantly, but that the wholemeal rye flour contains less sugar and, above all, is much richer in fiber.

The Calories of Whole Rye Flour and Rye Flour Type 1150

Cereals, as a rule, have a high-calorie content:

  • 100 g wholemeal rye flour: 294 kcal
  • 100 g rye flour type 1150: 318 kcal

For other grains, the calorie content is a little higher. It is 342 kcal for wholemeal spelled flour and 309 kcal for wholemeal wheat flour.

How the biological value of the protein in the rye can be optimized

Cereals such as rye do not contain an excessive amount of protein – the average content is 10 percent – but cereal products cover a large part of the daily protein requirement due to the relatively high amount consumed. On average, 15 percent of the daily protein intake comes from bread.

The biological value (quality) of the protein is nutritionally 80 for rye flour, 60 for oats, and 56 for wheat flour. Rye, therefore, performs better than other grains. However, the content of the essential amino acids lysine and threonine is also low in the rye.

If you combine rye with foods that contain a lot of lysine (e.g. legumes) or threonine (e.g. cashew nuts and peanuts), you can greatly improve the biological value.

Compared to other grains, rye is not as good a source of methionine. While 140 mg of methionine are contained in 100 g of rye, the same amount of millet contains 250 mg. The best plant resources include soybeans (580 mg) and Brazil nuts (1,119 mg), which is why e.g. B. a slice of rye bread topped with grilled tofu slices or a tofu slice is a very good combination for optimizing the methionine supply.

However, it is now known that the biological value of proteins in individual foods has long been overestimated. Because it is not the protein quality of a single food or a single meal that counts, but the protein quality of the overall diet. So if you eat a varied diet, there is no reason to pay meticulous attention to the biological value of meals when putting together your diet. You can read more about this, especially in connection with a plant-based diet, in the previous link.

The vitamins in wholemeal rye flour and rye flour type 1150

Rye also has a lot to offer in terms of vitamins – especially if you choose the whole grain variety.

As you can see our vitamin table e.g. reveals that wholemeal rye flour is a much better source of vitamin B and contains more than twice as much vitamin E as flour. Here, too, we choose rye flour type 1150 for comparison, because it is used most frequently: vitamins in the rye

The minerals in wholemeal rye flour and rye flour type 1150

With regard to the minerals, the differences are even more serious. In wholemeal rye flour there is e.g. B. almost twice as much potassium and iron as in rye flour type 1150.

Also consider that rye flours with a higher degree of grinding perform even worse. With 100 g of rye flour (type number less than 650) you can only meet your daily requirement of magnesium to 7 percent and zinc to only 17 percent. This explains why refined flours are classified as inferior to wholemeal flour.

Rye has a medium glycemic load

The glycemic load (GL) indicates how much food affects the blood sugar level. If it is below 10, the value and thus the influence on the blood sugar level is classified as low. Foods with a particularly low GL include salads and vegetables (e.g. 100 grams of Brussels sprouts have a GL of 1.3).

In comparison, grain generally has a relatively high GL. In the case of 100 g of wholemeal rye bread, it is in the middle range, namely around 20. In comparison, wholemeal spelled bread has a GL of 25.6. But if you eat the same amount of white bread, you already have a GL of 38.8.

Why whole rye grain is allowed at low-carb

There are a variety of low-carb diets. While the Atkins diet almost completely avoids carbohydrates at the beginning, the Logi method – a very moderate form of low-carb nutrition – only avoids the intake of carbohydrates with a high GL. On average, the carbohydrate content should be between 15 and 30 percent per day, so that the Logi diet can very well contain a slice of wholemeal rye bread now and then.

With most other low-carb diets, however, grain products are almost never on the menu – not even in the whole grain version. The Paleo diet in particular does not require grain at all, because it is assumed that grain has only been part of human nutrition for a short time, i.e. that people got along very well without grain in the millions of years before they settled down on a farm.

Whole grain rye protects against obesity and type 2 diabetes

Although the GL of whole grains isn’t all that low, numerous studies have shown that regular high consumption of whole grains can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. According to Swedish scientists, eating whole grain rye bread increases satiety and regulates appetite. The opposite is the case with white bread.

A 2018 review by Italian researchers from Federico II University found that people who eat an average of 2 to 3 servings (60 to 90 g) of whole grain products such as whole rye bread per day compared to people who rarely or never eat it fall back – the risk of diabetes is 21 to 32 percent lower.

Carbohydrates are therefore not just carbohydrates. According to US researchers from the National University of Health Sciences, the antidiabetic effect of whole grain products is primarily due to the high fiber content, as this slows down digestion. As a result, the blood sugar rises less, which means that the body has to release less insulin. Since insulin promotes fat storage and inhibits fat breakdown, a consistently low insulin level is very important, especially when losing weight.

Nevertheless, according to the National Consumption Study II in Germany, 75 percent of women and 68 percent of men do not consume the recommended amount of fiber of 30 g per day. So it’s no wonder that more and more people are suffering from type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Rye supports the intestines and promotes digestion

The soluble dietary fiber in rye acts as a bulking agent and binds large amounts of water. Bacteria convert them to short-chain fatty acids and gases in the large intestine. As a result, the stool becomes softer and the stool volume increases so that the bowels can be emptied regularly without straining. The roughage also improves intestinal flora.

Wholemeal rye flour is particularly rich in dietary fiber, known as pentosans. These are mucous substances that stimulate the movements of the intestine. This accelerates the onward transport of leftover food and its excretion and counteracts constipation. In addition, pentosans have a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract, as they have an anti-inflammatory effect and literally absorb toxins and transport them out of the body.

Just 3 slices of wholemeal rye bread are enough to completely cover the daily fiber requirement. In order to get the same amount of dietary fiber with white flour, you would have to eat a whopping 1 kg of white toast bread, but then you would have already covered your daily calorie requirement.

Rye can cause bloating

If you’re looking to make the switch from refined flour to whole grains, do so cautiously. Because if you suddenly take in a lot of fiber and are not used to it, feelings of fullness and flatulence can occur.

Therefore, start with small amounts of whole grains so that your intestinal flora can adapt accordingly. Eat fresh wholemeal bread – neither from rye nor from other grains. Leave for at least 1 to 2 days or, even better, toast before eating. Then this can greatly improve digestibility and make it much more tolerable.

It is also important to drink enough so that the fiber can swell sufficiently.

Low-FODMAP rye bread relieves symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

Grains such as wheat, rye, barley, and amaranth are relatively high in FODMAPs. FODMAP is the abbreviation for fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides, and polyols. They are all carbohydrates. In cereals, it is the oligosaccharides in particular.

People with intestinal problems often experience symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, gas, abdominal pain, or nausea when ingesting FODMAPs. These carbohydrates are not inherently bad, but a low-FODMAP diet can help with certain conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome.

However, as a randomized, double-blind, controlled crossover study with 87 irritable bowel syndrome patients showed, the dough process – i.e. the duration of the resting and rising time before the dough is baked – plays a decisive role in relation to the tolerability of rye bread.

Study participants received both regular rye bread and low-FODMAP rye bread for 4 weeks. The researchers concluded that symptoms were much less when the low-FODMAP rye bread was eaten.

But what is the difference between low-FODMAP rye bread and ordinary rye bread?

What is important in a low-FODMAP rye bread

In the production of pure rye bread, sourdough is usually used. Because you can’t bake with yeast. The sourdough improves both the baking properties and the digestibility. The special lactic acid bacteria and yeast fungi in the sourdough are responsible for this.

However, rye bread made with sourdough is by no means automatically equivalent to low-FODMAP rye bread. The decisive factor is the length of time the dough rests, since the FODMAPs are partially broken down during this time. But the fact is that nowadays the dough pieces (raw pieces of dough) are usually baked after just one hour of rising time.

According to a study at the University of Hohenheim, this is the moment when the dough contains the most FODMAPs. After four and a half hours, however, even the wheat dough contained only 10 percent of the original FODMAPS. The researchers came to the conclusion that it is not the grain types that are decisive, but rather the dough process.

Because even ancient grains have about the same values ​​as wheat. 100 grams of wholemeal rye flour contains around 600 mg, rye flour (type 1,800) 590 mg, and wheat flour (type 405) 284 mg oligosaccharides.

Low-FODMAP rye bread is a traditionally baked bread

Low-FODMAP rye bread is therefore by no means a modern invention, but a traditionally made bread. However, the long dough process of more than 4 hours is only practiced by traditional bakers when making sourdough bread.

If you give the dough the time it needs to develop, this also has a positive effect on any unwanted substances such as phytic acid, which we will talk about later in the text.

So contact your trusted baker instead of buying cheap bread in the supermarket. Or you can bake your own low-FODMAP rye bread. Make sure that the dough has rested long enough. In our recipe database, you will find a recipe for a delicious sourdough bread made from wholemeal rye flour.

Rye can be eaten if you have fructose intolerance

In fruit and vegetables, fructose is often responsible for the fact that food is not well tolerated. Namely, if there is intolerance in this regard. This is not the case with grain.

In 100 g of wholemeal rye flour, the fructose content is only 60 mg. In comparison, 100 g of sweet cherries contain 6,320 mg of fructose. The ratio of fructose and glucose in the rye is also completely balanced, which additionally optimizes tolerability.

However, if the intestine is weakened due to an intolerance such as fructose intolerance, symptoms can also occur due to FODMAPs. In this sense, too, it is important to rely on low-FODMAP rye bread.

Gluten in wheat is not the same as gluten in rye

As mentioned at the beginning, wheat has better baking properties than rye, which means that dough made from wheat flour can be made particularly easily and quickly. The high content of gluten (protein complex) is responsible for this.

However, the fact that wheat contains as much gluten as it does today has not always been the case. Only in the last few decades has breeding concentrated on increasing the gluten content (high-performance wheat). At the same time, the number of people who do not tolerate bread, pizza, or pasta well has increased.

However, not all grains contain gluten, Elbe. Instead, the gluten types differ. Gluten is basically made up of storage proteins and reserve proteins. These two are called scaling and secalinin in rye and gliadin and glutenin in wheat.

The different proteins in gluten explain why the flours have different baking properties. For example, gliadin, together with glutenin, ensures the formation of glue and thus the elasticity and firmness of the dough. Selin and secalinin in rye dough do not have this ability. It is therefore necessary to add acid (sourdough) so that the rye bread rises and forms a nice crumb.

Rye contains much less gluten than wheat

Not only does rye contain a different type of gluten, but it also contains far less gluten than other grains, especially far less than wheat. According to the German Research Institute for Food Chemistry, the average gluten content of the most important grains is as follows (per 100 g):

  • Spelled flour (Type 630): 10.3 g gluten (spelled belongs to the wheat genus)
  • Wheat flour (Type 405): 8.7 g gluten
  • Barley: 5.6 g gluten
  • Wholegrain rye: 3.2 g gluten

If you are sensitive to cereals containing gluten, it is usually not necessary to avoid gluten altogether. It is enough if you avoid important gluten sources such as wheat and spelled. However, spelling is often better tolerated than wheat, so it cannot only be due to the amount of gluten it contains that wheat is often so badly tolerated.

However, low-gluten grains such as rye are usually tolerated relatively well, unless of course you suffer from celiac disease or cannot tolerate other grain components.

Rye is also taboo for people with celiac disease

People suffering from celiac disease (an autoimmune disease) must avoid any grain containing gluten, including rye. Gluten causes lasting damage to their intestinal mucosa. If gluten is not avoided, the inflammation in the small intestine will continue to progress. Digestion is impaired and the nutrients can ultimately no longer be properly absorbed by the body. The patient has severe discomfort and loses weight.

In the case of celiac disease, however, there are enough grains such as millet, teff, corn, and rice, as well as pseudo-cereals such as amaranth, quinoa, and buckwheat, which are completely gluten-free and therefore do not cause any problems. A completely gluten-free diet can be delicious!

Phytic acid in the rye

Warnings are often given against any food that contains phytic acid (phytate), a phytochemical found in grains, legumes, and nuts in particular. Rye contains around 970 mg of it per 100 g. In the same amount of whole wheat it is 170 mg and in fruit an average of 25 to 60 mg. Cereal critics state that phytic acid combines with minerals so that their absorption is hindered.

The fact is, however, that corresponding deficiency symptoms only occur when people feed themselves almost exclusively on grain, as is the case in developing countries. Those who eat a balanced diet do not risk any health problems due to the phytic acid.

Why rye bread contains less phytic acid than wheat bread

In addition, food contains not only phytic acid but also an enzyme called phytase. If this is activated, it breaks down the phytic acid and ensures that the body has more minerals available. Rye is particularly rich in phytase, so bread made from rye flour or rye meal generally contain less phytic acid than wheat bread, especially if the bread have been expertly baked:

More minerals through slow baking

In the production of rye bread, sufficient soaking time and the acidification of the dough also play an important role in relation to the phytic acid content. This activates phytase and breaks down phytic acid. If the swelling time is between 10 and 12 hours at approx. 20°C, even all of the phytic acid is released.

The longer dough process ensures that the body has more minerals such as iron and zinc at its disposal. So there is a lot to be said about the current trend of slow baking, which allows the dough to mature longer. The researchers from the University of Hohenheim were therefore in favor of not only examining the ingredients of food in the future but also the way in which they were prepared.

Where the rye is grown

The cultivation of rye hardly plays any role in most countries, especially with regard to food production. The share in world grain production is just 1 percent. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, around 11.3 million tons of rye were harvested worldwide in 2018. This compares to 735.2 million tons for wheat.

With over 2 million tons per year, Germany is the number one rye producer, followed by Poland and Russia. With around 178,000 tons, Austria still occupies 12th place in the world rankings, in Switzerland rye is a niche product with 10,000 tons.

What the rye used for

Especially in Central and Eastern Europe, rye is used as a bread grain for rye and mixed breeds. Elsewhere, rye is primarily used as animal feed. Both the whole grain and the so-called green rye (rye plant) are fed. Green rye is the first green fodder that cattle get in spring.

In addition, the rye grains are used to extract alcoholic beverages such as vodka. Even when it comes to beer production, the grain has a long tradition. What was once banned because rye was far too valuable as a bread grain to fall victim to beer production became fashionable again in Germany in the 1990s. Since then Roggenbier available again.

What distinguishes winter rye from summer rye

A distinction is made between winter rye and summer rye. In Central Europe, winter rye is primarily cultivated, while spring rye is not so important. This is due to the fact that winter rye is the hardest of all winter cereals. It can withstand temperatures as low as minus 25 °C and also thrives in very harsh climatic conditions, where winter wheat, for example, would not stand a chance.

Spring rye, on the other hand, is cultivated particularly in moderate climatic conditions. Since it is not hardy, it is not sown until spring, winter rye in autumn. In both cases, the harvest begins in July. However, summer rye is less productive due to the shorter growing season.

Flowering and harvesting of rye

Although rye and wheat are both sweet grasses, the two types of grain differ not only in terms of their climatic needs. Rye also thrives well on sandy soil, while wheat prefers heavy loam or clay soil. More rye than wheat can therefore be harvested on sandy soils.

In addition to rye and wheat, sweet grasses include many other types of grain such as barley, oats, millet, rice, and corn. Their inflorescences are usually composed of partial inflorescences (spikelets), which form spikes or panicles in their entirety. While oats and rice bear panicles, rye and wheat bear ears.

The heyday of the rye is between May and July. One rye spike contains up to 50 two-flowered spikelets. And in each of these two-flowered spikelets, there are several glumes, which have a protective function. If the spikelets are pollinated by the wind, the seeds are formed. While the ripe ears of rye are slightly inclined, they have an upright posture in wheat. This way you can easily distinguish the plants in the field from each other.

The rye is harvested from the end of July to the beginning of August. Before the rye grains can be ground, they have to be threshed. They are freed from the non-edible parts such as the husks.

The Eternal Rye

Have you ever heard of eternal rye cultivation? This is a field study that began in 1878. Almost 150 years ago, the agricultural scientist Julius Kühn started a long-term test on a plot of around 6,000 m² in Halle an der Saale. Since then, year after year (under different conditions) the field has been tilled with winter rye.

On the one hand, the eternal rye cultivation testifies to the love of the Germans for rye and has therefore already been declared a cultural monument. On the other hand, the endurance test is of great scientific importance. Because over the years it has been tested how the type of fertilizer (e.g. manure and fully mineral fertilizers) affects the yield compared to no fertilization at all.

Analyzes have shown that unfertilized soil has always been poor in nutrients. What is astonishing, however, is that for decades about one and a half tons of rye per hectare have been able to be harvested from the unfertilized field, i.e. around half the yield of a comparison field with fertilization. And this is despite the fact that over the years minerals such as potassium and nitrogen have been extracted from the soil by the hundredweight rye plants.

The study has i.a. showed how frugal and self-sufficient rye is. For this reason, the use of pesticides is much lower than z. B. in wheat.

Why organic rye is so valuable

In 2016, the chemical and veterinary investigation office in Stuttgart analyzed 413 samples of conventionally grown mushrooms, cereals, and potatoes for pesticide residues. 97 percent of the samples showed residues of a total of 172 active substances. Of the 23 grain samples, 19 contained pesticide residues, 13 of which contained multiple residues and 5 samples exceeded the permitted maximum level.

In the case of rye, e.g. Dichlorvos, an insecticide that has been banned in agriculture in the EU and Switzerland since November 2012. Because this active ingredient is extremely toxic to invertebrates, fish, birds, and bees and has a mutagenic effect. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has already classified dichlorvos as “possibly carcinogenic”.

Even if rye is much less susceptible to diseases and pests and consequently not as contaminated with pesticides as wheat, buying organic rye still pays off. In addition, analyzes have shown that the contamination of fungal toxins (mycotoxins) in organic grain is lower. This is sometimes attributed to the more balanced fertilization and the lower stocking density.

The rye and the ergot

Rye is relatively frequently attacked by the ergot fungus, which produces toxic alkaloids. The fungus is so called because the ergot was sometimes used as a narcotic in the past. Even today, the ergot is well dosed, e.g. B. in migraine still use. At 0.1 mg total alkaloid per kg body weight and day or 10 to 30 mg total alkaloid per kg flour, there is no risk of poisoning.

But if you take in more alkaloids, this leads to intestinal cramps, circulatory disorders, hallucinations, and death. In the Middle Ages, when the harvest failed, up to half of the rye harvest could consist of ergots. Many Marian apparitions can be explained by this.

Nowadays, however, one can safely fall back on rye products. Cases of poisoning are extremely rare because the rye is thoroughly cleaned before processing. This applies airflow that blows through the grain and blows out foreign objects. Sieves with graded mesh sizes also separate straw, insects, and ergot neatly from the rye grains.

The pros and cons of hybrid varieties

Rye grains are elongated and have a bluish to greenish tinge. Especially with old varieties, it is the case that the grains are not firmly attached to the husks so that they can fall out even with a slight movement of the ears (wind, rain). This fact causes crop losses, which is why hybrid varieties are often used in conventional agriculture.

Hybrid strains are created by crossing two parent lines bred to perfection. In this way, it is achieved that rye plants deliver up to 100 percent higher yields or are less susceptible to certain diseases. However, hybrid varieties also have various disadvantages.

So the elaborately cultivated characteristics are already lost in the 2nd generation. Farmers, therefore, have to buy new seeds every year. In addition, the variety of crops such as rye is decreasing. Rye hybrids also produce less pollen, which increases the risk of ergot infestation.

For these reasons, most organic farmers reject hybrid varieties and rely on rye varieties that have arisen through conventional breeding.

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