Barley is a cereal grain and is a type of grass. It was one of the first cultivated grains, and has been harvested for over 10,000 years. It originated in Southeast Asia and Ethiopia, and as of 2015 the biggest growers of barley are Canada, the United States and France.
Barley is a popular health food, and is a very good source of molybdenum, manganese, dietary fiber, and selenium. It can be sold hulled, pearled, flaked or as pot barley or grits. Fermented barley is often used to make alcoholic beverages, particularly beer. It can also be used as animal feed.