Information about Grains: Oats

About oats, information about the grains, production, history and uses, nutritional value


Grown principally as livestock feed, but furfural--a solvent used in oil refining and pharmaceuticals--is also made from oat hulls. Only 5% of the total yield is grown for human consumption. Leading oat-producing countries include the U.S., the U.S.S.R., Canada, France, Poland, the United Kingdom, West Germany, Australia, and New Zealand. In the U.S., Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois are the largest producers. Oatmeal is a good source of calcium, iron, the B vitamins, inositol, and silicon, which is necessary for the development of the muscles, brain, and nerve structure. When looking for oatmeal, try to buy steel-cut oats. These have not been submitted to the high heat necessary before oats can be rolled, and the nutrients are more likely to be intact. Oat flour is also available, which gives an unusual and delicious taste to bread.

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