Is barley a good crop?

It is very adaptable and has a short growing season. However, barley needs to be dehulled before eating, meaning an extra step after harvest. 

Why is barley also known as Gladiator food?

Barley is high in protein, fiber and amino acids as well as potassium, calcium and iron. It is heart healthy and tummy friendly, with lower gluten contents than wheat. Ideal nutrition for a high performing Gladiator!

Note: barley is also used as animal feed- perhaps for the same reasons. 

What is the deal with malt and barley? 

There is barley that has higher protein and is ideal to eat as a grain, and there is barley with less protein that is better malted. 

Malting is a process where starch is converted into sugar. Malted barley can be used in bread baking to support fermentation, or as a straight out sweetener (look for malt extract on food ingredient lists). It is also used as a base for beer and liquor. 

In what other ways is barley processed? 

As a dehulled, steamed whole grain. You will also find naked barley grown without husks that can be eaten as a whole grain (with the respective nutritional value). 

Further, barley is milled to become flour with a creamy, nutty taste.