March 23, 2020
What to Know About Wheat: National Agriculture Week Edition
National Agriculture Week is a week-long celebration organized by the Agriculture Council of America. The goal is to increase the public’s awareness of agriculture’s role, especially in today’s society.
For instance, did you know the average U.S. farmer today, feeds 155 people. Whereas in 1960, a farmer fed just 26 people.
So to do our part and help enrich the world about our favorite crop, we thought we’d share some not-so-known facts that may just surprise you.
10 Wheat Facts You Should Know:
Wheat originated in the Tigris and Euphrates river valley, near what is now Iraq.
Wheat is the source of 20% of the world's caloric intake and a dietary staple.
Wheat is grown to some extent on every continent except Antarctica.
Each American consumes about 134 pounds of wheat flour per year.
Six classes bring order to the thousands of varieties of wheat: Hard Red Winter, Hard Red Spring, Soft Red Winter, Durum, Hard White and Soft White.
Hard Red Winter wheat is used for yeast breads and rolls.
Soft Red Winter wheat is used for flatbreads, cakes, pastries and crackers.
Hard White wheat is used for yeast breads, hard rolls, tortillas and noodles.
The main ingredient in crackers is unbleached flour from Soft Red Winter or Soft White wheat.
The three main parts of the wheat kernel are the endosperm, bran and germ.
Endosperm – Comprising about 83% of the total kernel mass, this is the source of white flour.
Bran – About 14% of the kernel, this part is included in whole wheat flour. Bran is the outer coat and is an excellent source of fiber.
Germ – About 2.5% of the kernel, this is the embryo or sprouting section of the seed. It is usually separated because it contains the fat that limits the keeping quality of flours.