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Wheat Bread Means Whole Wheat

September 27, 2014

There is a great deal we take for granted when it comes to our food supply. When we think of grain farming it’s usually corn or soybeans that comes to mind – often those growing wheat are ‘forgotten’ by consumers.

Wheat is actually grown in 42 of our 50 states and about half of the wheat grown here is consumed here. Depending on the type of wheat and location an acre of planted wheat yields an average of 42 bushels of wheat. More food is made with wheat than any other grain.

While consumers see all wheat as the same there are actually 30,000 varieties of wheat! These are grouped into six major classes: hard red winter, hard red spring soft red winter, durum, hard white and soft white wheat.

Of that 42 bushels of wheat grown on an acre a bushel (60 pounds) has a million kernels. It can yield about 60 pounds of whole wheat flour and 42 pounds of white flour. That bushel can make about 42 commercial loaves of white bread or 90 one pound loaves of whole wheat bread.

Pasta uses much wheat also, with spaghetti the #1 pasta in the USA. Pizzas, graham crackers and noodles are just a few ways to add whole grain wheat to your diet.

Not all wheat is the same! Some wheat is used just for pastries while other is made into flour and other goes for making bread.

Whole wheat bread is made from the whole grain – germ, bran and endosperm – ground into flour. Wheat bread can contain about 75% white flour and 25% whole wheat flour. Some wheat bread can, because of this, be the same as white bread with caramel coloring added. Only if whole wheat is used are you actually getting whole grain bread. If you don’t make the bread it means carefully reading labels! Buying solely on the color of the bread may not get the added nutritional benefits you think you are adding.

Consider what you are really after when shopping for wheat bread. You can feel good using any brown bread but nutritionally boosting your diet takes real whole wheat grains used in foods.

There are, like the thousands of types of wheat farmers grow, many ways to consume whole grains and many types and varieties of wheat bread. Find the ones that work for what you are after, be it an inexpensive sandwich or adding fiber to your diet or eating “closer to nature” with whole grains. There is room for all and a reason why farmers continue growing it! It feeds the USA and beyond.

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