Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Amber Waves of Grain. . .in Washington, D.C.

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On Thursday, September 23, a live wheat field and combine transformed the streets of the Capital into a mini “farm-to-fork” experience to teach people about where their food comes from and to help them  make more informed nutrition choices.  The Wheat Foods Council’s two-day Urban Wheat Field event enables people to experience the life cycle of America’s most-consumed grain, from the kernel to the store shelf where people are given the choice – whole or enriched grain. 

 

Leonard Schock with the Montana Wheat and Barley Committee told Northern Ag more about the event.

In addition to featuring every stop on the grain chain including the wheat field, mills, ovens and the finished product, the event provides access to grain experts from around the country including farmers, millers, bakers and registered dietitians.  The exhibit, open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. EST on Thursday and 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Friday, is located at 3rd Street and Maryland Avenue. 

This event was held in New York a few years back and Leonard told us some of the questions asked of experts then.


Exhibit components include: 

  • Agriculture:  Wheat farmers will take groups through five stages of wheat growth as well as the harvest via a growing wheat field – approximately one quarter acre in size – and will showcase  an actual combine. 
  • Milling:  Visitors will see how wheat kernels become flour via operating mills and have the opportunity to grind their own flour.
  • Baking:  Flour will be transformed into everyone’s favorite grain foods in the baking area where a certified master baker will prepare cupcakes and biscotti and a mobile baking lab will provide fresh bread and cookies for sampling.
  • Nutrition:  Against the backdrop of a mock grocery store aisle, registered dietitians will deliver a lesson in wheat nutrition, reading nutrition facts panels, identifying whole grain foods and determining proper serving sizes. 

The United States exports about half of the wheat it produces and is considered the largest wheat-exporting nation in the world providing nourishment to people everywhere.  Producing more than 2.3 billion bushels in 2009, America’s wheat producers play a critical role in the economy, the global food supply and the diets of people throughout the world. 

The Urban Wheat Field is a free event for people of all ages.  To learn more, visit www.wheatfoods.org.   For those unable to attend the event, the Wheat Foods Council offers a similar, interactive, farm-to-fork experience at www.HowWheatWorks.com.     

 

Posted by Haylie Shipp

 

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