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The Wheat Foods Council has debuted “How Wheat Works,” an interactive, online multimedia program providing a farm-to-fork education on wheat so that visitors to the site (www.howwheatworks.com) can learn more about its nutritional value. The site enables participants of all ages to virtually grow, harvest and mill their own kernels to create a wheat-based food.
For each participant, the Parker, Colo.-based council will contribute 2 pounds of flour, up to 90,000 pounds, to Operation Homefront, a San Antonio-based nonprofit organization that helps needy U.S. servicepeople and their families.
“This unique mixture of subjects like agriculture, milling, baking and nutrition allows people to better understand wheat’s role in a healthy diet,” noted Wheat Foods Council’s nutrition expert Carol Pratt.
How Wheat Works employs 3-D animation, still photography, video and factual information to illustrate wheat’s journey from field to table. Each of the program’s four phases — growth, harvest, milling/baking and the grocer’s aisle — takes mere minutes to complete, while the program spans the course of four days.
After each phase is completed, activity suggestions permit participants to deepen their learning experience by cooking wheat-based recipes, exploring wheat grown in their area and viewing harvest videos from “America’s Heartland,” a magazine-style TV program dealing with American agriculture. At the close of the program, a quiz assesses wheat knowledge and the council donates the 2 pounds of flour to Operation Homefront, with help from its members at ADM and ConAgra.
To offer the program to youth organizations and classrooms, the council has created educational guides (available at www.wheatfoods.org) that enable group leaders and teachers to activate How Wheat Works with students. Activity ideas use program content and resources from the council’s library, along with member and partner materials.
“Teaching people how a whole or enriched grain food comes to be can shed new light on nutritional implications and result in informed food choices,” said Pratt. “This is a fun learning experience that everyone can enjoy, whether it’s a mom teaching her child proper nutrition, a student researching for a school project or a baking enthusiast learning more about one of their most utilized ingredients.”
Supported voluntarily by wheat producers, millers, bakers and related industries, the Wheat Foods Council is a nonprofit organization formed to help increase public awareness of grains, complex carbohydrates and fiber as essential components of a healthful diet.