Food & Drink » Glenda Bartosh on Food

Food and Drink

A big fat grain for a big fat country



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After much trial and error - winter wheat varieties from Europe couldn't stand the test of Canadian prairie winters, and spring wheat matured too late to cope with the short growing season - one variety eventually developed in Ontario, called Red Fife, became the saviour of the Canadian wheat industry and countless pioneering families, who ground their own wheat for flour to make the mainstays of life.

In bread, spaghetti, cakes or otherwise, people are hungry for wheat. It's versatile, tasty, and nutritious. Depending on the variety, wheat contains 9 to 15 per cent protein, compared to 7 to 8 per cent protein in rice. We humans will eat close to 700 million tonnes of wheat this year alone, making it one of the top three foods, along with rice and maize, that keep us chugging along.

Take a look at Wheaties, the "breakfast of champions," which has been around for 75+ years. With any luck our wheat farmers will be around for another 75 years themselves as they face all these changes and more.

Glenda Bartosh is an award-winning freelance writer who's so glad she isn't allergic to wheat.