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Wheat foods are a valuable part of our daily diets

Wheat provides a source of dietary fiber and much needed carbohydrates. The next time you are in the bread isle or the bakery think of the 1000’s of wheat producers in Oregon and throughout the US who have worked hard to bring us our daily grains.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Service’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans stress the need for 6 to 11 servings of grain products (breads, cereals, rice and pasta) each day.

Consume 3 or more ounce equivalents of whole grain products per day, with the rest of the recommended grains coming from enriched or whole-grain products. In general, at least half of your daily grains should come from whole grains. Enriched and/or fortified grains help alleviate shortfalls including B-vitamins, folic acid, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and the mineral iron.

Wheat is the most widely used grain!

Did you know that at one time in our history, wheat was even used as money?

Wheat and other grains provide energy for our bodies and fiber for our digestive systems.

In Oregon, the primary type of wheat our farmers grow (soft white wheat) makes the best cakes, pastries, donuts, cookies, Middle Eastern flat breads, muffins and other baked goods. About 90% of Oregon wheat is exported overseas, much to Japan and other Asian countries for special foods like ramen noodles and steam breads.

Despite their popularity, meta-analyses demonstrate that low-carbohydrate diets are no more effective for weight loss than low-fat or balanced diets!

If you measure the importance of crops grown in the Pacific Northwest by the number of acres planted, then wheat is the top crop, with a whopping total of 4.2 million acres of winter and spring wheat (2018).

Quick Facts

  • It takes 2.3 bushels of wheat (138 pounds) to produce 100 pounds of white flour.
  • A bushel of wheat is approximately 60 pounds.
  • A bushel of wheat yields 42 commercial loaves of white bread...equals almost 2 billion loaves of bread!
  • In 1880, it took 373 hours of labor to produce 100 acres of wheat. Today, it takes less than eight hours!
  • Wheat is the #1 export of the Port of Portland.
  • Umatilla County produces 25 - 30% of the state’s wheat.
  • Approximately 90% of Oregon wheat is exported.
  • Oregon produces primarily soft white wheat due to our region's climate.
  • A 'small' barge on the Columbia River can carry 85,000 bushels of wheat.
  • A 'larger' barge on the Columbia River can carry 125,000 bushels of wheat.

Additional Links & Resources

Home Baking Association “Providing tools and knowledge to perpetuate generations of home bakers”. Order ‘Baking with Friends: Recipes, Tips and Fun Facts’ is a beautifully illustrated children's’ book/cookbook combined and great for teaching kids to bake.

Wheat Foods CouncilRecipes, classroom resources, and get the latest science based information on wheat foods. Kernel of Wheat Flyer – A colored diagram showing the parts of a wheat kernel: the bran, germ and endosperm. Explains the difference between whole and enriched grain foods and their importance in a healthy diet. It features MyPlate information.

Sprouting Up Tool Kit– recipes and fun activities for kids.

Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom – providing support for educators who desire to include agriculture in the his/her classroom for 3rd -4th grades. Kids’ pages:

Helping Kids Fight Obesity

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