Winter wheat
Photo by Karrie Steely
A beautiful stand of hard winter wheat, almost ready for cutting.

Thinking of delving into the world of wheat? Whether you shop for wheat-based foods, harvest your own or are just curious, you’ll enjoy these facts about wheat.

1. There are six wheat classifications: hard red winter, hard red spring, soft red winter, durum (hard), hard white and soft white.

2. Hard wheat is used for making bread and all-purpose flour.

3. Soft wheat is for cakes, pastries, crackers, muffins and biscuits.

4. A landrace is a crop cultivar or animal breed that has been developed through traditional farming practices for many years in a particular locale, with minimal if any selective breeding.

5. Currently there is no GMO wheat in commercial production.

6. A whole-wheat berry contains the endosperm, germ and bran. Most nutrients are contained in the germ and bran. When flour is refined, only the endosperm is left.

7. The endosperm consists of protein, which is the gluten, and carbohydrate.

8. Some “whole wheat” bread sold in stores is made from refined, separated flour with some germ and bran mixed back in.

This article was originally published in The NEW PIONEER™ Fall 2015 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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