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Wheat Trivia

Here are some fun facts about wheat, based on the "Grains of Truth about Wheat" fact sheet produced by the Wheat Foods Council. The full document in PDF is downloadable here. Want to know more about how wheat works? Learn through the Wheat Foods Council's interactive, online game, How Wheat Works.

immature wheat
Wheat is a member of the grass family that produces a dry, one-seeded fruit commonly called a kernel.

More than 17,000 years ago, humans gathered the seeds of plants and ate them. After rubbing off the husks, early people simply chewed the kernels raw, parched or simmered.

Wheat originated in the "cradle of civilization" in the Tigris and Euphrates river valley, near what is now Iraq.

The Roman goddess, Ceres, who was deemed protector of the grain, gave grains their common name today - "cereal."

Wheat was first planted in the United States in 1777 as a hobby crop.

Today, wheat is the primary grain used in U.S. grain products - approximately three-quarters of all U.S. grain products are made from wheat flour.

Wheat is grown in 42 states in the United States.

Six classes bring order to the thousands of varieties of wheat. They are: hard red winter (HRW), hard red spring (HRS), soft red winter (SRW), hard white (HW), soft white (SW) and durum.

In 2008/2009, U.S. farmers grew nearly 2.4 billion bushels of wheat on 63 million acres of land.

In the United States, one acre of wheat yields an average of around 40 bushels of wheat.

About half of the wheat grown in the United States is used domestically.

One bushel of wheat contains approximately one million individual kernels.

One bushel of wheat weighs approximately 60 pounds.

One bushel of wheat yields approximately 42 pounds of white flour OR 60 pounds of whole-wheat flour.

A bushel of wheat yields 42 one-and-a-half pound commercial loaves of white bread OR about 90 one-pound loaves of whole wheat bread.

There is approximately 16 ounces of flour in a one-and-a-half pound loaf of bread.