Wheat field displayed in New York City
October 10, 2008
by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
NEW YORK – The Urban Wheat Field Experience of the Wheat Foods Council was conducted this week at the South Street Seaport in New York. The project helped draw attention to wheat, how it is grown and its nutritional benefits. On hand in New York to guide visitors were experts in agriculture, milling, baking and nutrition
"The grain is grown on 63 million acres of American land, and we each consume nearly 138 lbs of it annually, but very few of us understand how wheat gets from the farm to our table," said Marcia Scheideman, president of the Wheat Foods Council, at the opening. "With the urban wheat field, we are offering a unique experience that has the ability to educate people everywhere about the importance of wheat to our diets."
The live display was put together as 300 4-foot by 4-foot pallets. The interlocking pallets created the wheat field with a pedestrian path running through it. Another objective of the display was to debunk a wide range of myths about the nation’s principal food grain. For instance, the council noted that wheat spends 90% of its life in a green cycle, giving it a different appearance than created by the "amber waves of grain" in the song "America the Beautiful." Most of the wheat in the urban wheat field was a lush green color, the council said.
Colleen Hart, an account executive with the public relations firm of Burson-Marsteller, said the effort was a success with 8,000 visitors from the targeted local groups that included schools and 4H groups. She said 4,000 postcards were distributed with wheat kernels attached, encouraging the visitors to plant the wheat seeds and to visit the W.F.C. website – www.wheatfoods.org. Media placements included the New York Times, Associated Press, Out New York and the local Fox television affiliate. Additionally, "field" site visits were conducted with editors of Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Family Circle, First for Women and Parents.