Heritage Wheat-The Way Wheat Used to Be
Heritage Wheat is pre-hybridized, pre-1950’s wheat that many people find more digestible. There have been many changes in wheat since the 1950’s that makes modern wheat less digestible for people. This wheat is experiencing a resurgence.
Heritage wheat was the predominant wheat grown in America up until the 1950’s. Many people find it more digestible than modern wheat. Its resilience allowed it to survive the Dust Bowl, and gave the Midwest it’s famous nickname “The Bread Basket”. Heritage wheat was a staple in every household. The history of it can be tracked to biblical times and has been responsible for nourishing generations. It was grown before the introduction of intensive scientific plant breeding.
During the Green Revolution, leftover nitrogen from WWII was put on the soil as a fertilizer to increase yields. This produced plants with gigantic heads of wheat that were so heavy they fell over into the soil and made harvesting difficult. To solve this issue, wheat was crossed with a dwarf Japanese goat grass. This hybridization resulted in a plant with a very short, stocky stalk that could support the abnormally large and heavy heads of wheat. Wheat went from over 6 feet tall to a mere 2 feet tall. The long waving wheat fields were no longer a sight to see. This new hybridized wheat lacked a good leaf canopy which necessitated the use of more chemical herbicides and insecticides. Crops no longer are rotated which depletes soil nutrients. Modern wheat cannot be grown without man and It does not regrow from its own seed, but needs to be replanted each year.
There are many benefits to Heritage Wheat, here are just a few