I got a really interesting email from one of my readers a while back. He was wondering if the wheat that I purchased from the mill was seed wheat, or feed wheat. He also wondered if it mattered which one he got.
To tell you the truth… I had no idea! I had no clue there was a difference in wheat that could be purchased, other than whether it was hard or soft wheat.
He was then kind enough to email me later with a very interesting article explaining the difference between feed and seed grain. After reading it I became very concerned that I didn’t know what type of wheat we’d stocked up on. I’d told the lady at the mill that I planned on grinding it myself… surely she would tell me if I was getting the wrong kind! But then again, you never know. She may not have known the difference either.
Basically what I learned after reading the article is that “seed” grain is meant for being planted, and is often treated with insecticides and fungicides. It is NOT safe for people (or animals) to eat.
Feed grain, which is meant for animals to consume, is safe for humans to eat. There is also something called “field run” grain that you can purchase. It has been handled less, and will still have dirt and debris in it, but it’s generally cheapest to purchase and can easily be washed at home.
I didn’t hesitate to call the mill and ask the nice lady if she could tell me which type of grain it is that they sell. What a relief I felt when she explained that the only grains they carry are feed grains, and they actually use the very wheat I purchased to make whole wheat flour that they sell in their country store.
Whew! That would have stunk if we’d bought hundreds of pounds of the wrong kind of wheat!!
I thought I’d share this information with those of you who like me were oblivious, in case you come across a mill and plan on buying some of their wheat. Make sure that what you get is “untreated feed grain”.
Thanks Darren, for sharing what you’ve learned with me, so that I could pass this important information along!