DELAWARE, Ohio – As national wheat bread month, January recognizes both the economical and dietary importance of wheat production. It is both a state and national revenue generator as well as a budget-friendly, nutritious food source for consumers. Ohio farmers significantly contribute to the country’s wheat supply, producing $300 to $400 million in annual sales.
Whole-wheat bread’s increased nutritional value is related to the whole grain. The whole-grain kernel consists of three parts. The outer layer of the grain is the bran, which has a lot of fiber and protein. Inside the bran is the germ, which is loaded with vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. The endosperm is the starchy area within the whole grain.
“When selecting wheat breads, whole-wheat versions are preferred because they contain bran and germ, preserving more health benefits,” said Jennifer Garrett, Ph.D. nutritionist. “Look for whole wheat or whole grain as the first ingredient on the nutrition label when buying breads. Wheat bread is also a less expensive nutritious option than some other health-conscious items at your grocery store.”
Whole-wheat flour is rich in B-vitamins, vitamin E and protein, and contains more trace minerals and dietary fiber than white flour. The fiber, like the fiber found in whole-wheat flour, is necessary for the digestive tract to function well.
“In most recipes calling for white flour, one can substitute half of the requirement with whole-wheat flour, thus increasing the fiber for an additional boost to digestive health,” said Garrett.
Many easy recipes and ideas for incorporating more wheat into a healthy diet can be found at http://www.wheatfoods.org.
Ohio Wheat Facts
- Ohio is the nation’s leader in growing soft red winter wheat (used in flatbreads, crackers, biscuits, cake/pastry flour)
- Ohio produces an average of more than 60 million bushels of wheat each year
- About 700,000 to 1 million acres of wheat are planted in Ohio each year
- Ohio has about 20,000 wheat farmers
- Ohio’s wheat crop value is $300 million to $400 million annually
Ohio farmers produced 46 million wheat bushels in 2010 and are finished planting fall wheat. 2011 yields are projected to surpass 2010 yields.
About Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association
The Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Association represents the interests of tens of thousands of corn and wheat growers throughout the state. OCWGA works in Washington, D.C., and at the Ohio Statehouse to ensure that government participation in legislation is beneficial to advancing the profitability of Ohio grains. For more information, visit ohiocornandwheat.org.