Urban wheat field addresses food literacy

by World Grain Staff
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WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — On Sept. 23 and Sept. 24 a live wheat field, approximately one quarter of an acre in size, will sprout from the streets of Washington, D.C., U.S., in an effort to promote food literacy via farm-to-fork wheat education.

U.S. Wheat Associates (USW) along with fellow members of the nation’s wheat industry will unite to deliver an authentic experience to city dwellers and key influencers during the Wheat Foods Council’s second "Urban Wheat Field." The event will take place on Maryland Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets SW.

Experts in the areas of wheat agriculture, milling, baking and nutrition will guide visitors through each phase of the grain’s life cycle, engaging them in hands-on activities and demonstrations along the way. USW will participate by educating visitors on the substantial contribution that the successful public-private export market development partnership makes to the entire U.S. wheat industry.

"Coming off the success and excitement of New York’s Urban Wheat Field, we’re looking forward to strengthening our message and enhancing the experience at the Washington, D.C. event," said USW Director of Communications Steve Mercer. "This is an ideal setting to help U.S. wheat producers tell their important story."

Highlights of the Urban Wheat Field exhibit include:

  • A guided tour will take groups through every step of wheat growth and harvest via a live wheat field and a full-size combine. People will see five stages of wheat and tour guides, in the form of wheat farmers from throughout the country, will lead the way.
  • Upon exiting the field, visitors will enter the milling area, which demonstrates how the grain itself or kernels become the flour that is used to make the foods they eat. Visitors will see an operating mill and grind their own flour with tabletop grinders.
  • Once the flour has been milled, visitors will learn how it is transformed into the everyday foods. Live baking demonstrations will take place throughout the day and a baking station will churn out fresh bread for sampling.
  • Registered dietitians will teach people about the way in which wheat foods fuel the body and provide essential nutrients. Against the backdrop of a mock grocery store aisle, nutrition experts will deliver a lesson in reading nutrition facts labels, identifying whole grain versus enriched grain foods and determining proper serving sizes.

The National Association of Wheat Growers will host a reception for congressional staff members to experience the event and meet with representatives from their individual state wheat commissions. USW invites its friends and colleagues to participate in this exclusive opportunity.

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