Wheat, a cereal grass of the genus Triticum (family Poaceae) and its edible grain, is one of the oldest and most important of the cereal crops.Although most wheat is grown for human food, and about 10 percent is retained for seed, small quantities are used by industry for production of starch, paste, malt, dextrose, gluten, alcohol, and other products.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans emphasize that grains – particularly whole grains – are a valued and important step toward healthy living. Federal guidelines encourage us to “get half from whole,” by consuming half of our daily grain intake in the form of whole grain foods. Whole grain foods are made with flour that contains all three parts of the kernel: the bran, germ and endosperm.
Research shows whole grain foods are associated with lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers, and may help with better weight control. Despite these well-documented health benefits, the average American eats less than 1 ounce of whole grains per day.
Enriched grains are also an important part of a balanced diet. White flour milled from the endosperm of the wheat kernel is used to make white bread. Semolina milled from the endosperm of the durum kernel is used to make traditional pasta. In the United States, these products are almost always enriched with iron and the B-vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folic acid. Enriched grain foods like white bread have twice the folic acid of whole wheat. Folic acid helps moms give birth to healthy babies and has also been linked with improving heart health, enhancing memory, and helping to prevent childhood leukemia.
ChooseMyPlate.gov provides practical information to individuals, health professionals, nutrition educators, and the food industry to help consumers build healthier diets with resources and tools for dietary assessment, nutrition education, and other user-friendly nutrition information. As Americans are experiencing epidemic rates of overweight and obesity, the online resources and tools can empower people to make healthier food choices for themselves, their families, and their children.
South Dakota Wheat Commission supports a number of youth organizations, both by volunteering and through financial support.
South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum
Children can learn about the many uses for wheat by exploring the newest children’s exhibit, located INSIDE an actual grain bin. Five larger-than-life poster panels educate and inform children about the parts of a wheat plant, uses for wheat and wheat four, and some unexpected, non-food uses for wheat. The SD Wheat Commission is now on display at the museum in Brookings.
Nordby 4-H Exhibit Hall
As one of the founding supporters of the Nordby 4-H Exhibit Hall, South Dakota Wheat Commission’s sponsoring wall is part of the “Ag is Build Around You” display. The 48-thousand square foot exhibit hall is a showcase for 4-H and other youth activities during the State Fair and all year-round.
Donations to the FFA Foundation allow the organization to provide sustainable impact on the local, state and national level. The goals of FFA include developing student leaders, and advancing the future of agricultural education.
Discover how flour is made, take a farm tour…