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Agricultural News

Bread Making Classes Kick Off a Busy Period For Oklahoma Wheat Commission

Tue, 02 Mar 2021 08:11:49 CST

Bread Making Classes Kick Off a Busy Period For Oklahoma Wheat Commission There are a lot of exciting things quietly happening behind the scene at the Oklahoma Wheat Commission and Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays recently visited with Mike Schulte, executive director of the Oklahoma Wheat Commission, about some of their latest activities.

Schulte first addressed the on-going pandemic struggles and the possibility of having in-person wheat field days this spring.

The field days will be critical in helping farmers assess the damage from the brutal February cold snap.

Our hope is we will be able to hold some in -person field days, Schulte said. It is still being discussed at the administrative level and we should know in several weeks, he added.

Wheat will be a hot topic at this week’s Oklahoma Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Association virtual conference.

The virtual conference will feature presentations from Dr. Brett Carver, OSU Regents professor and lead wheat breeder, and Dr. Brenda Smith, Regents Professor in Nutritional Science.

The OSU professors conducted a study several years ago which was published last fall studying the issue of genetic improvement in wheat negatively affecting gut health.

The study compared modern Gallagher wheat varieties with older heirloom Turkey wheat varieties in a lab study on mice.

The wheat industry has been plagued by concerns modern wheat varieties created gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, Schulte said.

The study showed the modern wheat actually had minor improvement in gut health, he said.

We’re hoping to take this further into human studies, Schulte said.

This is the first study that’s been published, and it is groundbreaking research that our registered dieticians and nutritionists need to know, he said.

Celiac disease accounts for 1 percent of the human population in the United States and there may be four to five percent of the population that may suffer from gluten sensitivity, he said.

If you don’t suffer from this challenge than we shouldn’t encourage eliminating wheat food products, Schulte said.

Wheat contains protein and folic acid, which is important, especially in women’s diets. Folic acid is basically vitamin B which has been used to fortify foods and protect against birth defects, he said.

The message is what makes a well-balanced diet for humans and wheat should not be taken off the table unless you suffer from celiac disease, he said.

In related news, home baking is making a comeback and Chris Kirby, director of communications and marketing for the Oklahoma Wheat Commission is conducting a series of four virtual bread baking classes.

Assisting with the classes is Taylor Connor, family and consumer science educator for Oklahoma County OSU Extension Service, and Stephanie Peterson, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, AZ.

The classes, which start March 18, are titled The Art of Bread Making and registration ends March 5.

There is a $30 fee for the two-hour classes which are password-protected Zoom meetings.

We’ve had a lot of enquiries from individuals on how to make bread at home, Schulte said.

We’re really excited to launch these virtual classes, he added.

For more information on the bread making classes, click here.

The Oklahoma Wheat Commission website recently underwent a year-long overhaul and will be launched March 3.

We really wanted to have a better way to reach out to consumers and producers, Schulte said.

We have a lot off resources from the producers’ side concerning the latest OSU research and also for the consumers, Schulte said.

It has been a challenging year and hopefully this is a way for producers to see what is being done by researchers from a production side, and for consumers from the marketing aspect, he added.

You can hear more of Ron’s interview with Schulte by clicking on the listen bar below.


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