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As a speaker of American English, I think making the main entry of this topic "Cereal" rather than "Grain" is very wrong.

"Grain" is what grows on plants. "Cereal" is what gets poured into breakfast bowls.

(I am expecting AV, proponent of "'correct' is 'what people actually use'", to leap to my defense here. :-) )

Well I too speak American English, but I chose to make cereal the name of the entry based on an informal survey of written usage (academic and statistical), where "cereal" seems to predominate. Also this is established usage on Wikipedia: the CIA World Factbook stat sheets that have been copied by the dozens into country entries all refer to "cereals" not "grain".
For what it's worth, my US English dictionary gives grassy seed crops as the primary definition of "cereal" and defines "grain" as small seeds, not necessarily of grasses.
Of course there is room for debate here ;-).
I've revised the article to include some definitions and breakfast cereal. Hopefully that makes the situation clear.
-- hajhouse
Why not add a disambig to the top?
This article is about grains. See also breakfast cereals
Asbestos | Talk 15:28, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Would anyone object to adding the said dismbig? — Asbestos | Talk 09:01, 1 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Added. Feel free to edit wording. — Asbestos | Talk 11:18, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think that the title should be CEREALS (plural) as it is a collective noun. This would also solve the breakfast debate to some extent.

This makes sense, +1. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:21, 18 June 2008 (UTC)


Also the entry about millet needs revision as it is still the staple food of millions of people in Africa and Asia and grown on millions of hectares. In the USA the use is mainly for animal feed.

Moving this comment here from the article page:

(FIXME: FAO productions statictics to back this is would be nice. Anyone know if these may be had on the web and what theit copyright terms are?......Data is not copyrightable BTW. See copyright) -- Zoe
Here's some data from FAO for the year 2004:
crop world production (metric tons)
maize 705,293,226
wheat 624,093,306
rice 608,496,284
barley 155,114,564
sorghum 60,224,964
millet 27,675,957
oats 26,961,437
rye 19,544,519
triticale 13,739,147
green corn (maize) 8,826,666
buckwheat 2,856,090
fonio 264,100
quinoa 52,900
Source: FAOSTAT database, which provides stats based on metric tonnage.
FAO's FACTOIDS section also provides some brief stats based on energy.
I'm afraid I'm a little too lazy to decide what to do about the grains for which FAO doesn't provide data, so I'll leave it to whomever else to reorder the list in the article. -- 03:21, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
The comments in the table probably need to be clarified: If maize has the largest production amount and is grown in both temperate and tropical lands, how can wheat be "The primary cereal of temperate regions" and rice be "The primary cereal of tropical regions"?

I'm not sure my last note got through so forgive the potential duplication>

I was trying to explain grain to my African friend: she knew sweetcorn, wheat and rice, but not barley, rye, millet, or some of the others. Photos attached to your desctiptions (as with corn) would be very beneficial!! judomom

The headings at the top of the table showed the units of measure for the three production years (2006, 2005 and 1961) to be "Mt". That is an error so I have changed them to their proper abbreviation, "t". The abbreviation "Mt" stands for Megatonne, and NOT for "metric tonne", as must have been originally suppossed . In other words, when viewing the data in the table, the 2006 world Maize production is currently shown as 695 million metric tonnes, not the 695 million-million metric tonnes, the table previously showed . For confirmation regarding the proper abbreviations to use, click on the link for "metric tonne" at the top of the "2006" column. Boot (talk)

I am unclear on what the three sets of numbers are in each grain vs. year category. Can someone elaborate on that? (talk) 00:33, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

The value given for barley production in 1961 (7277) seems to be far too high, by perhaps a factor of 100, relative to the other data and the trends over time.

First word of article[edit]

The article begins "Wheat crops are". shouldn't that be "Cereal crops are"?


And a merchant of corn was in Britain called a chandler

Was this common usage? I checked the Oxford English Dictionary and there was no mention of it. The primary usage was a candle maker, the second an officer responsible for the supply of candles, the third was a retailer of supplies for a particular purpose. I have heard of a fishing business wholesale supplier being called a chandler. -- WormRunner | Talk 17:52, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

Partially answering my own question: It seems that chandler is used in combination as "corn chandler" "tallow chandler" "ship's chandler" but I do not find chandler used alone as a corn merchant. Also, the use of chandler being a specialized merchant is american as well as british, as is the candle-maker usage. In other words, the statement in the whole is misleading. -- WormRunner | Talk 21:09, 3 October 2005 (UTC)

Cereal crops are mostly grasses cultivated for their edible seeds (actually a fruit called a caryopsis). Cereal grains are grown in greater quantities worldwide than any other type of crop and provides more food energy to the human race than any other crop. In some developing nations, cereal grains constitute practically the entire diet of common folk. In developed nations, cereal consumption is more moderate but still substantial. The word cereal has its origin in the Roman goddess of grain, Ceres. Staple food grains are traditionally called corn in Britain, though that word became specified for maize in the United States. And a merchant of corn was in Britain called a chandler, which in the United States is an obsolete word for someone who sells candles.

Oats, barley, and some products made from them.

Order of Cereals[edit]

Why does the order given in "approximate order of greatest annual production" seem to be contradicted by the Rice, Wheat and Maize articles? Or am I confused by a linguistic thing? 21:09, 21 January 2006 (UTC)


An anonymous editor asked: Is Linseed plant a cereal ?

No. Linseed comes from the flax plant, which is not a grass or a cereal. The seed can be correctly called a grain, though. hajhouse 20:12, 5 September 2006 (UTC)

Problems with Grains[edit]

Shouldn't there be a section that discusses the problems with grains as a food? For instance, brain disorders such as autism are the result of having a damaged digestive system, which is caused by certain properties of grains. I'm currently on a diet that restricts any grain or sugar or starch due to my having a rather disorganized brain. Can't there be a section here that discusses these things? Scorpionman 19:02, 13 September 2006 (UTC) oke

There's no solid proof that personality syndromes are cause by environmental factors, and much of the evidence we do have points towards hereditary causes in most cases. This is a controversial topic, and isn't particular to just grains themselves. It's best listed under its own article or as a subsection of another article relating to mental disorders. (talk) 06:09, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

This is not my area of expertise, but a link to Ketogenic diet for epilepsy seems appropriate. Nadiatalent (talk) 15:13, 21 November 2010 (UTC)


Anybody else think the disambiguation link to Cerealicious is unnecessary? -- ßottesiηi (talk) 02:29, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Seems that way to me, too. Waitak 03:21, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm going to agree and remove the link, and add a little detail to the link in the "See Also" section. 01:57, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Not logged in, my bad. \/\/slack (talk) 01:58, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for removing it from the dablink. My bad. Berserkerz Crit 15:04, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Cerealicious on See also[edit]

Please do not remove the link because it is a legitimate article properly placed there by the editors above because of its relevance. Discuss here if and why you would remove it (addressed to Waitak). Berserkerz Crit 15:04, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

The reason why Cerealicious keeps getting removed is that it has nothing to do with the subject of the article! This article isn't about breakfast cereal. It's about parts of certain plants that share certain characteristics. I don't question that Cerealicious is a legitimate article, and it'd make a fine addition to Breakfast cereal, but unless you can show what the relationship is between that article and the subject of this one, it doesn't belong here, sorry. Tell us what you believe the relevance to be, if you disagree! Waitak 03:02, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
Took you long enough to reply hehe. Yeah yeah I got it after you removed it for the 2nd time, seeing the logic of the removal myself. Continue editing good. =) Berserkerz Crit 11:55, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

Cereal (Canada)[edit]

I'm searching for the Canadian town Cereal. Maybe it's smart to make another page with disambugations.


On certain wikipedia pages, amaranth is listed as a cereal grain (e.g. "people around the world value amaranths as leaf vegetables, cereals and ornamentals." taken from: Amaranth, see also: Grain amaranth), but on other pages (Pseudocereal) it says that amaranth is not a true cereal because it is not a grass. This inconsistency should be corrected. I'm no botanist, but amaranth certainly doesn't look like a grass, and other webpages ( and also list it as an herb or pseudocereal.--Knobula (talk) 20:06, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Proposal--Grain Crops[edit]

I'm new to editing and talk pages, so please forgive any breaches of etiquette or process... I am a botanist and I work with grain crops. To bring this topic closer to the conventions used in agronomy, I suggest the following:

1. Rename the page Cereal and Pseudocereal Crops. This addresses the concerns raised above about cereal vs cereals and cereal grains vs. breakfast cereals.

2. Create a new page called Grain Crops. There are many grains that are not cereals...but all cereals are grains. Major subcategories of grains include Cereal& Pseudocereal Crops (grown mainly for starch), Oilseed Crops (grown mainly for oil), Pulse Crops (grown mainly for protein). Each of these should have its own page.

3. A minor thing: it sounds unnatural, but in the list of major cereals, "oats" should be "oat." "Millets" is correct because there are several kinds. Only one kind of oat is being listed here and grammatically, oat is the correct singular form of the word.

If there are no objections in the next week or so, I'll attempt to do what I've suggested.Desmanthus4food (talk) 15:33, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Dramatic Production Increases[edit]

Under Cereals, Plant Hybrids, and Wheat there is little discussion of the importance of the near tripling of worldwide corn, wheat, and rice production and the near doubling of barley--how was this accomplished in the last forty years? Related to this absence is the dearth of referrals to agricultural colleges/universities that are front and center relating to not only production increases, but to the greatest efficiencies in water use and soil conservation. Also, some mention of the movement toward to perennial hybrids in grain production is an important element for inclusion (dramatic reductions in motor fuel use and in soil erosion). Homebuilding (talk) 02:12, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

Water Shortages[edit]

Do the two paragraphs talking about water shortages really add anything to a page about cereals?

The article mentions that water shortages are one cause of global grain problems -- ok, but what are some of the others? What do family planning and desalination have to do with the rest of the article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:29, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree. The whole section is only peripherally relevant to cereal; it's about the Food price crisis, and should be in that article instead. This is a formal proposal of the merger. Tevildo (talk) 10:44, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Support as nominator. Tevildo (talk) 10:44, 24 August 2008 (UTC)


Looks like someone decided to vandalize a page on... cereal:

"Teff, popular in Ethiopia steve etcell is also a pube head in ethiopia helping collect little black kids for the harvest of scarcley owned products but scarcely known elsewhere."

Sorry for not reverting this myself - I tried tracking down the edit on the history page, couldn't find it, and don't have time to do this now.Adumas (talk) 11:21, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for reporting, I've reverted this edit. --Oxymoron83 11:33, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Another vandal attack on page Cereal, under Harvest, the last line contained swear words. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:10, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Nutritional facts[edit]

Many people are under the mistaken impression that all grains are so completely deficient in lysine that they cannot sustain life as the only source of protein. This is not true. In particular, wheat, oats, barley, quinoa, among others, all contain enough lysine to sustain life. So you can live on wheat alone as a source of protein (you'd need something else for vitamin C, as well as some of the other vitamins and minerals). If you eat nothing but wheat as a source of protein, then some of the other amino acids, which are abundant relative to lysine, will be converted to glucose by the liver and burned for energy. Similarly, some legumes (soybeans) contain enough of all the amino acids that it is possible to sustain life eating nothing but those legumes.

This is an important point, because the notion of food balancing makes vegetarianism seem much more complicated and dangerous than it really is.

For reference, go read any of the pages on cereals. I examined the page on oats, for example, and it currently says oat protein is nearly equivalent to soy protein and that soy protein is nearly equivalent to animal protein. In other words, the existing Wikipedia article on oats confirms that you can meet all your protein requirements eating nothing but oats. There is no problem of lysine deficiency. Most of my diet consists of oats, I might add.

I have made the necessary corrections. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:39, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

No consensus to move. Vegaswikian (talk) 08:16, 10 May 2010 (UTC) CerealGrain — Relist. Note, from the discussion it would appear that cereal grain could have a consensus, but did not receive a good discussion. As it stands now, if it is a choice of the two first mentioned, there is no consensus to move. Vegaswikian (talk) 18:14, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

  • Should be moved to "grain". (struck per new comment below) Cereal is what I eat for breakfast. –xenotalk 14:34, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Both words have various meanings. See wikt:cereal and wikt:grain. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 22:39, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Cereal grain would be better. Cereal is a breakfast food, grain is a characteristic of wood. (talk) 05:22, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Support I agree, the title of this article is misleading. According to WP:AT, titles should be easy to find and the most commonly used name. This article should be moved to grain, breakfast cereal should be moved here, and the wood grain article is already called wood grain. Grain also has a disambiguation page which should help.
  • Interesting case. WP:ENGVAR hints at keeping it at cereal but "cereal" is marginally more ambiguous than "grain". If the move is carried out, cereal should still probably be redirected to this article and not to breakfast cereal. Cereal grain, as noted above, might be an option but both cereal and grain should still direct here. — AjaxSmack 15:34, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Is this possibly a case of National Varieties of English? Countries are often listed as producing cereals as one of their exports, but I don't think they are referring to Kelloggs (or Nestlé). The stuff that comes in cardboard boxes is correctly at Breakfast cereal. Grain is not exactly unambiguous: on this side of the Atlantic, I would tend to think of the grain in wood. Incidentally, the thing you eat for breakfast is so called because it's made out of cereals! Skinsmoke (talk) 17:56, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
  • (Strongly) Oppose current situation is best, per Skinsmoke's argument. It seems this is the primary definition of both terms, especially cereal. —innotata 16:27, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Agree with Cereal grain suggestion as being completely unambiguous. As others have pointed out, both "cereal" and "grain" have multiple meanings. --Cybercobra (talk) 07:27, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Support the idea of the relister to move to cereal grain to be completely clear. –xenotalk 18:19, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Leave it alone per WP:ENGVAR. Cereal grain is somewhat misleading. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:21, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Suggestion Make Cereal a disambiguation page that points to Breakfast cereal and Cereal (grain) (or Cereal grain though I think the parens are prefereable since Cereal grain is not a term). --RegentsPark (talk) 14:45, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

I think this is pretty clearly the main meaning of cereal, and such an important topic that breakfast cereals should not force an absurd-sounding parenthesis. I'm not entirely satisfied with any arrangement though. —innotata 22:07, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I think we have to face the reality that in the largest English speaking country in the world, cereal pretty much means 'breakfast cereal'. Pointing cereal to the grainy stuff is therefore incorrect. But, presumably, in the rest of the world as well as in export/import, cereal refers to the grainy stuff. Therefore pointing cereal to the flaky stuff is also incorrect. Seems to me that disambiguation is the only way to go. So, the question should be Cereal grain or Cereal (grain. I'm indifferent between the two. --RegentsPark (talk) 12:21, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
The majority of the English-speaking world uses British English—remember India, etc.—and consider the usage of the two terms as pointed out above. Cereal grain is a non-existent term and cereal (grain) seems unnecessary and nonsensical. —innotata 16:57, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
In Canada, atleast, "cereal" would preferentially be the dry boxed breakfast product that you add milk to. It appears to be the case for the US as well. So, it is not a US-only issue. (talk) 03:46, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


The new section on history could really use a write-up of Nikolai Vavilov's theories and subsequent work, if anyone is able to write such a section. An overview can be found here. Nadiatalent (talk) 20:27, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Perennial grains[edit]

Added this:

Since a few decades, there has also been increasing intrest in perennial wheat, rice, ... plants. This, due to advantages in regards to erosion control, reduced need in fertiliser, ... Since then, the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas has been able to create a few cultivars that still manage to produce a fairly good cropyield.[1]

needs to be expanded though, or other articles made — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:30, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

File:Various grains.jpg to appear as POTD[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Various grains.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on November 6, 2014. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2014-11-06. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page. Thanks! — Crisco 1492 (talk) 23:52, 17 October 2014 (UTC)

Picture of the day

A cereal is a grass cultivated for the edible components of its grain, composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran. In their natural form (as in whole grain), they are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, oils, and protein, but when refined the remaining endosperm is mostly carbohydrate.

Pictured here are oats and barley, together with some products made from them.

Photograph: Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture
ArchiveMore featured pictures...

Scotland ...?[edit]


isn't it an odd bit of provincialism to state of oats, in the table of cereals, that it was "Formerly the staple food of Scotland" ...? Compare with the entry on oats itself, referring to "tolerance of a wet and cold climate, like in northwest Europe" (paraphrase). It's not like oats are _from_ Scotlamd, either.

T85.166.162.169 (talk) 13:38, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

Agreed. Firstly, oats haven't been the staple like that in nearly 100 years. Using old sources gives an undue impression to its importance to modem society. It's one of those old bits of trivia/cultural comparison that persists long after its reliance has passed. Secondly, it's too narrowly pointed for such a worldwide encyclopedia. The vast majority of the world's English speakers have never been to Scotland, or the UK, and the idea that UK-centric factoids like that are relevant is provincialistic. It's like the assumption that all English speakers should automatically know British geography or that British geographic features are auto rivalry the primary topic that creeps in every now and then. It's not significant now, and frankly was never significant to the majority of the world's English speakers. oknazevad (talk) 04:03, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

picture legend[edit]

"Cereal grain seeds from left to right" This picture legend is not useful as the seeds are not arranged in a left-right row. But I can't recognise the seeds, so I can't correct it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:36, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Perennial grains being created at the Land Institute