Last updated on March 17th, 2017
What’s the difference between -Red -White -Hard -Soft -Summer -Winter WHEAT?
Wheat is one of the basic dry foods that preppers keep in their food storage, and is the most common grain consumed in the United States.
One reason that wheat is chosen for food storage is because wheat has a very long shelf life if stored properly (decades). The ‘goodness’ remains in the wheat (berry) until you mill it (grind).
There’s more than one kind of wheat, and you may have heard some of the name variations – varieties. Here’s a short and simple description:
Hard Wheat / Soft Wheat
Hard wheat has a hard kernel.
The kernel is smaller than that of Soft wheat.
Hard wheat has higher protein because it has a higher gluten content (gluten is a protein). Gluten helps the dough to rise by trapping the fermentation gases that come from the added yeast. Conversely, wheat that is lower in gluten content doesn’t make as good a rising loaf of bread, but it still works.
Soft wheat has larger and softer kernels than Hard wheat.
Soft wheat has less gluten content but is preferably used in pastries, pastas, and cereals.
Spring Wheat / Winter Wheat
Winter wheat is planted in the fall, it grows over winter and is harvested the following summer.
Spring wheat is planted in the spring, grows in the summer, and is harvested in the fall.
Red Wheat / White Wheat
Most of the Hard wheat varieties are Red wheat.
Most of the Soft wheat varieties are White wheat.
Having said that, there is a Hard White variety of wheat, and is a compromise widely chosen for making bread because of the opinion that it tastes a bit better than bread made from Hard Red wheat.
The most common variety of wheat used in prepper food storage is Hard Red wheat (spring or winter), because of the high protein content, which typically is 12% or more. However Hard White wheat also has the same long-term storage benefits.
A good food storage plan for survival preparedness includes a quantity of wheat stored for the long term (along with your other diversified stored foods). I personally keep both Hard Red wheat and Hard White wheat – sometimes mixing the two when making breads.
There are several benefits from wheat, including the ability for long term food storage.
If using wheat ‘from scratch’, you will also need a flour mill.
UPDATE: There are a number of articles buried here in the blog which may shed some light on aspects of wheat storage. Here are a few:
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