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The major reason why people store hard wheat or wheat “berries” is because wheat will store practically forever. There have been reported cases in Egypt where explorers have found wheat that was still good in the pyramids centuries after it was buried with the pharaohs. Although this is a more extreme case, wheat normally lasts at least 30 years in storage even without using any special storage techniques.
Aside from storing longer, hard wheat is also very versatile. You can ground it into flour and since it is in its purest form, it is actually more nutritious than white flour. Explains why some pharaohs lived as long as they did even with reported inbreeding. Wheat can also be cooked as is to make cereal or dried and steamed to make bulgur wheat which can be consumed or used to bake other foods. You can also plant the seeds and eat the young green sprouts rich in enzymes or just wait it out for a few months to get more wheat.
Another rather obvious advantage of storing hard wheat is because wheat does not lose its nutritional value even after decades.
White flour on the other hand also has its advantages. The major advantage being that it is super convenient to store flour than wheat. It is easily cooked and who doesn’t enjoy some baked goodies? However, having said that, flour has a very short shelf life. Although flour can last between 6 -12 months, you can extend its shelf-life using special storage techniques for example by storing it in mylar bags and ensuring its put in a cool dry area with little sunlight. Even though you won’t come close to the 30 year shelf life of hard wheat, you will at least get to the 3 year mark. Oh and don’t forget, it is much easier to buy flour than hard wheat.
Flour also loses its nutritional value gradually over time. It also loses its quality and basically it starts to degrade as soon as it is ground from wheat. It also loses all its vitamins by the end of its third year of storage.
Due to its disadvantages, most people who store flour do it on a short term basis. If you are looking to start an emergency food stash for the short term and you do not want to be bothered buying a grinder, then flour is your best option. Ensure that you consume it before its shelf life is over depending on the method you choose to store it otherwise you night end up wasting a lot of food or worse poisoning yourself.
No matter what you choose to store ensure that you store it properly keeping it away from direct exposure to sunlight, oxygen, moisture and vermin. Ensure you purchase all your supplies from proper food stores to ensure that you actually get what you pay for not to mention protecting your family from food poisoning as a result of amateurs handling your food.
This article was originally published at http://blog.emergency-foods.com
Photo Credit: wallygrom