Yellow Mustard Seed
Mustard seeds are the small round seeds of various mustard plants. The seeds are usually about 1 to 2 millimetres (0.039 to 0.079 in) in diameter and may be colored from yellowish white to black. They are important spice in many regional foods and may come from one of three different plants: black mustard (Brassica nigra), brown Indian mustard (B. juncea), or white mustard (B. hirta/Sinapis alba).
Grinding and mixing the seeds with water, vinegar, or other liquids, creates the yellow condiment known as prepared mustard.
In the Bible Jesus tells the Parable of the Mustard Seed referring to faith and the Kingdom of God. There, Jesus says that the kingdom of God “is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”
This story is recounted referring to faith in Luke 17:6-10 and Matthew 17:20. With reference to the Kingdom of Heaven it is mentioned in Luke 13:21 and Matthew 13:19. This parable referred to having a “mustard seed” type faith to someone that needs to have just enough faith to believe that anything is possible. As Jesus referred to a young man that was a “lunatic” (demon possessed) and had many sores on his body, he let the disciple’s know the young boy couldn’t be delivered from demons because they had no faith. They boy’s father came to the disciples for healing of his son and they couldn’t heal him for lack of faith. Jesus let them to know that all one needs is just a little faith and nothing is impossible. This Scripture is to remind those that are followers of Christ that it’s through their faith they can heal, cast out and pray for others.
The earliest reference to mustard is in India from a story of Gautama Buddha in the fifth century BC. Gautama Buddha told the story of the grieving mother (Kisa Gotami) and the mustard seed. When a mother loses her only son, she takes his body to the Buddha to find a cure. The Buddha asks her to bring a handful of mustard seeds from a family that has never lost a child, husband, parent, or friend. When the mother is unable to find such a house in her village, she realizes death is common to all, and she cannot be selfish in her grief. The Buddha stated that if an individual were to pick a single mustard seed every hundred years from a seven-mile cube worth of mustard seeds, then by the time the last seed is picked, the age of the world cycle would still continue. (If a mustard seed is 3 mm in diameter, then taking one seed every 100 years from a seven-mile cube of seeds, would take 936 quintillion years, 68 billion times the age of the universe.)
Jewish texts compare the knowable universe to the size of a mustard seed to demonstrate the world’s insignificance and to teach humility. The Jewish philosopher Nahmanides mentions the universe expanded from the time of its creation, in which it was the size of a mustard seed.
Mustard seeds generally take three to ten days to germinate if placed under the proper conditions, which include a cold atmosphere and relatively moist soil. Mature mustard plants grow into shrubs.
Mustard grows well in temperate regions. Major producers of mustard seeds include Canada, Nepal, Hungary, Great Britain, Pakistan and the United States. Brown and black mustard seeds return higher yields than their yellow counterparts.
In Pakistan, rapeseed-mustard is the second most important source of oil, after cotton. It is cultivated over an area of 307,000 hectares with annual production of 233,000 tonnes and contributes about 17% to the domestic production of edible oil.
Mustard seed is a rich source of oil and protein. The seed has oil as high as 46-48%, and whole seed meal has 43.6% protein.
|Top 10 mustard seed producers in 2015|
|* = Unofficial figure | [ ] = Official data | A = May include official, semi-official or estimated data
F = FAO estimate | Im = FAO data based on imputation methodology | M = Data not available
Source: UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO)