Michigan Wheat . . . still the staff of life.
Wheat is an important part of a healthy diet, and wheat products are good for your entire family!
Nutritious. Wheat grains, enriched and whole, are great sources of folic acid, fiber, iron, magnesium, vitamins E and B, antioxidants, thiamin, riboflavin and more! Complex carbs found in wheat supply people with energy and are low in fat, cholesterol and sodium. Click here to learn more about wheat nutrition.
US Dietary Guidelines recommend eating six 1-ounce portions of whole grains daily.
Sustainable. Wheat is the world’s second-most widely grown grain. Michigan’s soft red and white wheat varieties are planted each fall and harvested the next summer. That makes wheat particularly helpful in reducing erosion because the growing plant provides ground cover during the high-rain periods in fall and early spring.
Wheat also enriches soil by capturing nitrogen and adding organic matter. In fact, some studies show that by growing wheat, farmers can increase yields of other crops planted in the same fields.
Locally grown and processed. Michigan has nearly 8,000 farmers in over 50 counties that grow wheat. These farmers care for their land, their communities and their crops.
After harvest, most wheat is processed into food right here in the Great Lakes region. Look for these products, made from Michigan-grown wheat:
|– Breakfast cereals||– Pastries|
|– Breakfast pastries||– Pies|
|– Cakes||– Pretzels|
|– Cake mixes||– Soup thickener|
|– Cookies||– Wheat berries (kernels)|
Facts about Gluten
One of the latest fads is following a gluten-free diet, and perhaps you’ve wondered whether this will have benefits for you and your family. In reality, only about 1 percent of the US population has celiac disease that requires them to follow a diet free of wheat and some other grains.
For the rest of us, the wheat proteins that make up gluten have significant health benefits.
Gluten is a mixture of two proteins found in wheat, which causes the elasticity that is desirable in most doughs and baked products. For more information on gluten consult the Michigan State University Extension bulletin linked here.
Some real wheat news: With Consumer Reports
In January 2015, Consumer Reports (CR) shed light on the gluten-free diet fad. CR wrote that most people probably don’t know that a gluten-free diet can actually cause weight gain! Or that it costs more and can increase one’s exposure to arsenic.
This science-based article talks about many unanticipated – and unwelcome – effects of following a gluten-free diet when a person does not have celiac disease. Read more at consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/01/will-a-gluten-free-diet-really-make-you-healthier.
Have you heard about the exciting new ways to use wheat? Wheat berries, freekeh and farro are some of the “new” healthy wheat ingredients! Please click here for some of the best Michigan wheat recipes.
Entertaining wheat news: With Jimmy Kimmel
Ever wanted to be in the tractor cab of a wheat harvester?
Ride along with Michigan wheat farmer Mike Milligan and lively Michigan Ag Council reporter Elaine Bristol in this 5-minute video to see wheat being harvested and learn how it ends up on your kitchen table.
So how did that wheat get planted?
A second ride-along video tells how technology is used in the planting of wheat, and what farmers must consider when planting. Interviewer is Elaine Bristol of the Michigan Ag Council.
Fun for Kids