Archive: Grains

Meet the Triticum Family, aka Wheat

As part of my recent pledge to become more intimate with whole grains, today is all about wheat, the second oldest grain in the world (*Psst – do you know what the oldest grain is? Answer at the bottom of this page.) Before we get started, I’d like to acknowledge that wheat contains gluten, and as such, is off limits for the 1 in 100-or-so Americans with celiac disease. You’ve got my word that the next installment in this series will feature a nonglutinous grain. Wheat goes waaaay back --- about 9,000 years. Triticum is its botanical genus name, encompassing 14 species of grass (both wild and domesticated) and more than 30,000 varieties worldwide. Next time you spread some peanut butter between two pieces of whole wheat bread, chew on the following: The story gets started with einkorn (triticum monococcum), the oldest cultivated form of wheat, domesticated around 7,000 BC....

 

By Kim ODonnel | May 12, 2009; 08:15 AM ET | Comments (4)

Getting Granular on Whole Grains

I was in D.C. for a few days this week attending "Make (at least!) Half Your Grains Whole," a conference hosted by Boston-based think tank Oldways and its sister program, the Whole Grains Council. The very name of the conference is derived from recommendations made in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a joint effort of the Departments of Health & Human Services (HHS) and Agriculture (USDA). As part of a balanced diet, the federal government recommends three or more servings of whole grains a day for ages nine and older. Sounds easy enough, right? But as I listened to the many speakers (representing science, industry, media and nutrition, to name just a few) present their findings about public consumption and perception of whole grains, I found myself saying out loud: Now wait a second; how many of us not in this room actually know what a whole grain is...

 

By Kim ODonnel | April 23, 2009; 09:50 AM ET | Comments (8)

 

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