March 2016 Issue

Heritage Wheat is Back

Ancient varieties of wheat, such as spelt, emmer, and einkorn, are delicious whole grain options.

Heritage wheat varieties—the types our ancestors ate—are growing in popularity as consumers seek out less processed, more natural foods. While modern wheat varieties (T. aestiyum and T. durum), major staples in Western diets, have been selected and cultivated for desirable traits, such as larger yields, ancient varieties, like emmer, Kamut khorasan wheat, spelt, and einkorn, have remained largely unchanged since humans discovered them centuries ago. However, the true health benefits of heritage varieties have more to do with the fact they are consumed in their whole grain form.

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