Wheat is one of the most important foods in the world because it can sustain life even when other foods are unavailable. Wheat has many nutrients needed for health. It’s the ingredient that gives bread, cookies, cakes, and many cereals their taste and structure.
- There are two types of wheat: hard wheat and soft wheat. Hard wheat grows in cool, dry climates. It’s used for making yeast breads, such as sandwich bread, pizza crust, and cinnamon rolls. Soft wheat grows in warmer, wetter climates. It is used for biscuits, muffins, and some pastries. Durum or semolina wheat is used in pasta.
- Wheat is the most nutritious grain. It’s full of fiber and vitamin B. Whole wheat is most nutritious. Wheat that’s been stripped of its hull, including the bran, germ, and endosperm) is less nutritious (white bread). Red wheat has a nutty flavor; white wheat has a milder flavor.
- Wheat is an ancient food that’s been grown for at least 10,000 years.
- It is the food most traded in the whole world. It also takes up more acres of land than any other food crop.
- Wheat kernels can be cooked to make a type of cereal.
- Some people are gluten-intolerant or sensitive.
- More wheat grows in Kansas than any other state.
- Sustain: support
- Structure: shape, texture
Questions and Answers
Question: Some people say wheat is bad for us. Is that true?
Answer: Wheat is often used as a cheap ingredient in processed foods, such as crackers and cookies. These products also contain corn syrup and other less healthful ingredients. Eat whole-grain wheat breads and cereals as part of a varied diet including lots of fruits and vegetables every day. Wheat can be a nutritious food when it’s eaten as a whole grain (not white flour) and with many other foods.
Visit the National Association of Wheat Growers to learn more about wheat.
Visit a Montana wheat farmer.