In the Tribulation it is said that a day's wages will only buy a loaf of bread. That is, the good, wheat bread. A day's wages will buy three quarts of barley grain, for three loaves.
"And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!”
A denarius is about a day's pay, or roughly equivalent to 22 dollars today. You remember that the woman who poured the alabaster box's contents of spikenard onto the feet of Jesus was chastised by Judas for wasting 300 denarii, or a year's pay (Mark 14:5)
The lesser grain was barley, it is why even in the Tribulation you can buy more of it than you can buy wheat grain. The more refined grain was wheat.
Here, Food Network's Alton Brown (who is a Christian & lives in GA) does a short spot as a sermon introduction on the Right from the Heart Ministries web page, a media ministry of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Metro Atlanta. It is called Gospel Grains, and he shows how the women of bible times made barley bread. It is very interesting. As always, I hope it brings to life for you the reality of the people who came before us were not just bible characters, but real men and women who carried the lamp of faith forward to you and I here today.
Gospel Grains - Sermon Intro from Johnson Ferry on Vimeo.