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TODAY IN FOOD: It’s National Cereal Day

Does National Cereal Day sound like nothing to get worked up over…because you enjoy that bowl of Cheerios 365 days a year?

Are you bummed that it isn’t National Bacon Cheeseburger Day or National Apple Pie À La Mode Day? Show a little love, please!

Cereals are wild grasses that were cultivated thousands of years ago. Their edible grains, or seeds, are staple crops throughout the world.

A staple crop is one that is grown in greater quantities, and provides more energy calories, than other crops. In some developing nations, grain constitutes almost the entire diet. But, here’s a happier fact: Cereal takes its name from Ceres, the Roman goddess of harvest and agriculture. The Greek goddess equivalent is Demeter.

Corn, wheat and rice account for 87% of cereals grown worldwide—wheat in temperate regions, rice in tropical regions, corn in the Americas and Africa.

Many grains are grown to feed livestock and for specific human uses:

  • Barley for beer and other malted foods.
  • In the U.S., more corn is grown to feed cattle than humans.
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    Wheat

    Amber waves of grain. Note the grains, or seeds, at the top of the stalk. Edible kernels are inside the husks.

  • Buckwheat and quinoa (an incredibly high-protein, nutritious grain), both food crops, are not true grasses, but “psuedocereals.”
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    Read about some of our favorite grain-based foods in the:

  • The Breads Section of TheNibble.com.
  • The Cereals Section of THE NIBBLE.com.
  • All about whole grains in our article on Whole Grain Cereals.
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