Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Brief History of Wheat - Part Two

Here's the rest of yesterday's wheat history article...

It has been said that the first evidence of wheat was discovered in the Middle East. When farmers started supplying enough crops to feed people from other lands, trading between the diverse cultures began. Ultimately wheat made it's way from the Middle East to England and other countries, then into the United States with Columbus back in the late 1400s and early 1500s. Over time, the growing of wheat spread to many continents and countries and is still one of the highest producing crops in the world.

All of the wheat grains were eaten or ground whole with the bran, germ, and endosperm parts of the wheat still intact. However, a new way of milling took hold in the wheat business when the industrialization wave hit America in the later 1800s. These manufacturers started removing the bran and germ from the wheat, because it meant that the wheat products could sit longer on grocery store shelves without spoiling. However, during this process almost all the essential vitamins and minerals (not to mention the dietary fiber from the bran) were removed. Since that time there have been increasingly more health problems throughout America and other countries.

Wheat in it's unrefined form has the attention of nutrition experts of today due to how it contains nutrients, fiber and phytochemicals that the body needs. Let's get back to eating wheat when it's whole and stop eating the refined grains, after all the people long before us ate it this way with no problem. In some cases, they even lived longer than we do now!

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