About 75 percent of all the grain products produced in the United States are made with wheat flour. The crop from which it is derived is grown in 42 states on about 63 million acres of land. Half of the wheat grown on this land is used in America, with the rest being exported.
Before wheat production became the large industry that it is today, it was produced a hobby. That was in 1777, although the origins of wheat go back much further than that. Humans have been using wheat for food for about 17,000 years.
It is now a key ingredient in many staple foods consumed in the United States. The two largest wheat producing states are Kansas and North Dakota. In Kansas, enough wheat is produced each year to make 36 billion loaves of bread. Six different varieties of wheat are grown in the crops across the country, including hard red winter, hard red spring, soft red winter, hard white, soft white and durum. These different varieties of wheat make a range of foods, including bread, bagels, cereal, pasta, pizza, crackers and tortillas.
But not all people can eat wheat - some people suffer from wheat allergies. Usually this affects children and can result in anything from hives breaking out on the skin to anaphylactic shock. People with a wheat allergy have to eat foods made with alternative ingredients, such as barley, corn, quinoa, rice or rye.