HELPFUL HINTS ABOUT WHEAT AND IT'S USES
Storage of Wheat: Your home should be self-sufficient with a mill to grind the wheat and the knowledge of how to use the wheat to the best advantage. Rotation and use of wheat is as vital as rotation and use of any of your food storage items.
Prepare for its Arrival: You are aware you have ordered your wheat. Anticipate its arrival as you would that of a new baby. Have clean, sealable containers purchased and ready for it. When the wheat arrives put it immediately into these containers and seal them.
Do not leave the wheat in paper or cloth bags. Weevils and moths can bite a hole through the sack and infest the wheat.
35 pound poly buckets or new garbage cans make excellent containers for wheat. Line the garbage can with a plastic liner. Fill it with wheat and close the plastic bag with a wire twist tie. Put the lid on the garbage can and seal it with wide masking tape. Caution: Plastic garbage cans that have a strong odor emanating from them may alter the flavor of the wheat.
Many bakeries will give you used 35 pound shortening and pie filling cans if you ask them. Clean and thoroughly dry the cans, fill with wheat and seal with masking tape.
Store all containers of wheat on 2" x 4" slats so air can circulate around the container. Do not store directly on cement. This may cause the containers to sweat. Metal cans should not be allowed to touch cement walls or floors as the cans wilt absorb moisture from the concrete causing rust, which will ruin the container,
Fumigants and Preservatives: Clean wheat itself should need no preservatives. To insure your purchase against the possibility of infestation, you may want to take these precautions:
Dry Ice: You may put a 3 ounce piece of dry ice in the bottom of a 35 pound bucket. Pour the wheat in on top of the dry ice and let the dry ice evaporate up through the wheat. This drives out the oxygen necessary for the insect to survive. Allow sufficient time for the dry ice to completely evaporate before sealing it. (Feel the bottom of the container to see it its still cold or has become warm. If it is warm, the dry ice has evaporated.)
Each 100 pounds of wheat requires about 8 ounces of dry ice. The use of dry ice in wheat should not stop the sprouting process, should you want to sprout it.
If you are using the wheat in your daily diet, precautions against infestation may not be necessary if the wheat is properly cared for. However, if you have purchased a large amount of wheat and wish to store it for some time, the use of preservatives may be wise.
Infestation: A common household infestation is caused by a small flying moth. (Hence, immediate care of wheat is of prime importance.) It lays its eggs in the grain or packaged product and a small larvae about 1/3" long emerges.
Should you find a container has become infested, you may: spread infested grain on a baking sheet and heat in oven at 150o for 20 minutes. This should kill all stages of infestation. Sift out debris.
A better way to care for this problem is to submerge the infested grain in cold water. Stir the grain so all the debris rises to the top of the water. Discard debris. Rinse the grain until the water is clean. Then simply wash again and use. You may also drain off the water and put the cleaned grain on a baking sheet and bake in a 150o oven with the door ajar until the kernels become very hard again. Use this grain up quickly as you do not know the moisture content. This grain would be best used in the whole kernel form. Do not use this grain in your mill!
To safeguard your storage area against infestation, clean and spray shelves with a household disinfectant spray. Be sure cracks and under the shelves have been sprayed. Keep all stored foodstuffs in covered airtight containers to avoid infestation. Remove any crumbs, grains, or unwanted food.
Carol Stiles, Healthykitchens, Victoria B.C., V0R 1N1, Tel: 250-701-0864, Toll Free: 1-888-735-1044, Fax: email: firstname.lastname@example.org