Bulk Wheat/Grain Purchasing...Options and Considerations

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Bulk buying of grains and legumes is for my family and most others a new experience, as well as a major expence amd investment. If a poor choice is made in selecting them, we won't have the luxury of running out and replacing them if and when supplies are not to be had. There are a couple of options you have in choosing your source. Perhaps the information I can pass along from my own recent experiences will help someone in selecting their option.

First of all, I go to alot of effort in buying and preparing food for my family. I try to eliminate as much of the chemicals from our diets as possible by purchasing organic fruits and vegetables. Additionally, as much as financilaay possible, I purchase meats and chicken that are chemical and hormone free.

Whether others have the same concerns about chemicals in their foods is none of my business. This isn't a lecture or a debate on Organic foods vs. Conventional foods. Privately E-mailing someone about their product when requesting information that all people could benefit from would be counter productive to an open forum.


A couple of month's ago in my panic to find a source for wheat, I came across a very kind farmer in Kansas. His prices were incredibly cheap and he made it very clear that the wheat would require cleaning prior to storing. When he got back to me with the quote on shipping cost I just about fainted. The shipping from Kansas to Texas was well over $400 not including the food and containers. He understood my deliema and connected me up with a gentleman here in Texas who was also looking for wheat. This man came across a local farmer in a town less than 50 miles from me. I thought I must have done something right, that my prayer was answered.

The local farmer's prices were also very cheap. Based on some information about livestock feed vs. human food, I asked the farmer to verify that it was O.K. He said the level of chemical toxicity had been tested and it was "allright" for human consumption.

Here again was a situation that I knew I would have to clean the wheat myself, prior to storing. Going from the occasional 5 lb. bag of a.p. flour from the local supermarket to 1000lbs of unground wheat is quite a leap. Having been informed as to what to expect from the "field cleaned" wheat, I knew I had quite a cleaning task ahead of me, as well as dividing it up into buckets and all the rest before storing it. But I was willing to do it.

However...based on my opinions of chemicals in foods and the farmer's words of the wheat having tested out "O.K."...I was beginning to feel uneasy about buying 1000 lbs. The deal killer was when the gentleman who had passed along the farmer's name to me after making a sizable purchase himself, sent me a 10 page e-mail on how to FUMIGATE the wheat!

Given the fact that, for most of us, this is a whole new experience in consumering buying and spending and in dealing with the source...caution must be taken, because you don't really know the seller, hiS/her ethical practices, or the quality of their product. Given the fact that it is a substantial cost and it is your money after all, you should ask questions, and if the seller gets snotty or defensive...find another source.


I live in a fairly good size town with a couple of natural foods grocery stores to choose from. They both have extensive bulk bin sections where you can scoop, bag, and weight the grains, rices, legumes, and much, much more. After comparing prices, I met with the "Bulk Grocery Manager" and asked if he would quote me a price on 1000 lb.s of the organic Hard Red Wheat Berries. We agreed upon the price and a few days later after placing a special order for me I had my wheat. He was thrilled to have the sale!

My wheat is from Arrowhead Mills and is clean, clean, clean, and beautiful!...no cracked berries, no bugs, no weeds, etc. I'm storing them in 5 gallon used buckets that I bought for 1.50 each. I plan to do the same with the other grains and legumes I will special order.


1. Organic grains are reported as to having a longer shelf life

2. Higher quality grains make better breads

3. They can also be used for sprouting (grains, seeds, legumes, etc. that have been chemically treated are NOT recommended for sprouting)

In comparison, the clean, organic wheat was not much greater in cost than the other wheat with the added shipping costs. And because of the huge amount of time that all the y2k preparations in general take, I'm glad to have saved all that time it would have taken me to clean (and God forbid) "fumigate" my wheat!

One last comment:

I don't require a legislative act to decide for me what is or is not acceptable when it comes to the standards by which the food I buy is grown or produced. Neither the government nor some arrogant yahoo that I don't know from Adam will tell me to shut up and sit down!

You decide based on your own set of standards, income, time and resources what works best for you and your family. And until the government regulates supplies, and issues food ration stamps, I will continue to ask questions and make my own choices.

Texas Terri

P.S. Don't panic and make good decisions you can live.

-- Texas Terri (TYSYM@AOL.com), December 04, 1998


Great post.

I also found the best source of wheat locally was a natural/health food store. I've been shopping there a while and he took my inquiry about bulk grain purchase in stride. The quantity was 50# bags, in a 'ready to grind' state.


-- jd (hemwat@bellsouth.net), December 04, 1998.

Good thing there are better sources of information on the web than posts like this. You don't want to fumigate so you buy grain from someone who doesn't scare you with dangerous talk like that, huh? If you don't put SOMETHING besides just your straight, virgin wheat in those buckets, your great investments in time and money will provide a nice meal for weevils. Have you ever eaten anything containing wheat? If you have, you've eaten weevil eggs. Don't have a fit, they don't hurt, but they're everywhere... and if you want to STORE wheat then you can either prevent the weevils from eating your grain or you can let them eat it. You can't clean them out of it mechanically. Oh, excuse me, maybe YOU can, maybe by the purity of your powers of organic thought? Other people can't, though. What a lucky gal (guy?) to be exempt from the pests of the world. Shut up and sit down? No, I'll bet you won't, but you're a strong example of a little knowledge being a dangerous thing.

-- Art (trimble@inet.net), December 04, 1998.

We've been looking for proper storage containers for grain but have been unable find any. Some plastic bags (black and white) say: Not for food storage.

What kind of plastic or containers are safe and where can we buy them?

-- Containers (store@buckets.how), December 04, 1998.

I have done some pricing. Can't seem to find anything - even out of local stores - cheaper than this. If anyone has any other ideas, though, I'd be willing to hear them.


-- Christine A. Newbie (vaganti01@aol.com), December 04, 1998.

To containers,

I purchased used 5 gal. white plastic containers that previously contained fountain syrups. Try to find them through second hand dealers. Just make sure that the lids have a good gasket, or else you might buy replacements.

As for Art...Uh...duh...,

Having said that...I understand and respect the fact that we all have differences in what interests or concerns us as individuals and our knowledge of a particular subject is therefore limited to the amount of time and research we put into it. Your statements indicate you have done little research, and base them more on conditioning.

If you are O.K. with "FUMIGATING"! your food, go ahead. Also, if you think that chemicals and poisons are the only way to protect you food supply, then you need to do more research.

The best way to control infestation of you whole grains, corn, legumes, etc. is with Diatamaceous Earth (D.E.). It is a natural substance that adult bugs can not survive, therefore, it keeps them from also laying eggs and reinfesting the grains. I use about 1 cup to about 4 gallons of grains. Mix well to thoroughly coat all the grains. DO NOT use the type of D.E. that is used in swimming pool filters. You can purchase D.E. from most good garden nursery.

The D.E. is actually beneficial to the human digestive system, especially when normal eating conditions change. It can elliminate parasites and other bad "bugs" that changes in water, food, and enviroment can make us suseptable.

You are more likely to have a problem with your food supply being infested if your grains are broken or damaged...so, careful cleaning is very important if you are buying direct from the grower.

AS A SIDE NOTE: I believe the issue of organic farming is mistakenly lumped into the extreme end of the enviromental movement by those who don't understand it. Not all supporters of organic farming believe, for instance, the hype and scare tactics of particular control groups that try to scare the public into believing that we are responsible for and should "feel" guilty about global warming. It is (as many believe, including many scientists) that such conditions are a result of the cycles in nature and will come and go.

Additionally, organic farming has NOTHING to do with New Age values and spiritual concepts.

Ironically, Conventional farming is not unlike y2k...technology that has gone awry by the greed and control of big business and the government...and the resulting domino effects...ranging from worn out farm land to weakened and damaged immune systems in humans that has resulted in an increase in cancers, diseases, allergies, and more... which further dominos into the need for drugs to counter act the damage and side effects of the chemicals from synthetic fertilizers, herbisides, and pesticides... and more drugs to counter act the side effects of those drugs...and the dominos continue to fall...

Texas Terri

-- Texas Terri (TYSYM@AOL.com), December 04, 1998.

Gee Texas Terri I didn't know you were so pickey. Did you ask Mr. Spilleman if he himself eats the wheat he grows?????? Guess what he does, been doing it for years..(looks likes hes about 60-65 yrs old to me ) as for the fumigating part, I sent you that letter so you would know the many ways to do it. The easiest way was to gas it with nitrogen at low pressure about 10-15 min, it cos about .10 or less to do. The air you breath is 78% nitrogen. Maybe you can get organic nitrogen....... :) just kidding..... o.k. Bottem line it cost .08 lb put it up about 5-6 months ago been eating it on and off for that long to. Just opened up one of my barrels to see what was the fuss.Saw a lot of old dead bugs trying to get to air up at the top of the big plastic bag(bugs are in everything don't kid yourself also good source of protien) I put inside the plastic 55 gallon drum. Wheat looks good so far and will continue to eat. Wife put some out in the shead by accident about 3-4 weeks after we got it and it was sproting like crazy. Does that make it organic now????? Anyway went to one of them health nut stores to see what the diffrence in price was..... .62lb you do the math. $80.00 for 1000lb or 620.00 It ain't that hard to save weat the egyptians did it with clay pots. Just ask some old timers. My point is don't write off the local farmer. He might be the only place to get it in the future.Sorry my e-mail was so long, than and now.

-- (jlandry@tgn.net), December 04, 1998.

Texas Terri,

Did you see me say fumigating was the only way? Duh indeed.

You said a deal was killed because a third party suggested ONE way to kill bugs. You wet your pants and went looking for someone (another stranger?!) who would tell you their wheat is grown on Mars where there are no bugs, no mold, no nothing. (Or did you forget to ask? And do you know how large a weevil egg is, Terr?)

What's the logical connection between one person's choice of bug killers and another guy's wheat? Logical... it's in the dictionary.

-- Art Trimble (trimble@inet.net), December 04, 1998.

Hi Mr. Landry!

Yes, I am very particular...and for those that aren't, that's fine. The point is... there are alternatives...which may lessen the panic for some that are still in search of a bulk grain source (I was in a terrible panic) ...and may substantially lessen the amount of time involved in preparation and storing...

Sorry, sprouting of the berries is not an indication that they are organic. Organic means that no chemicals have been used on the product before, during, or after. Also, the land that the produce is grown on must be chemical free for at least three years.

By the way, I don't think the Egyptians used chemicals and perservatives... maybe that is why they lasted so long...in addition to proper storage techniques.

I hope that you and your wife will continue to be happy with your choice...if not... it isn't too late to go to your local natural food store (JUST KIDDING!)

You are a very kind man...good luck to you.

Texas Terri

-- Texas Terri (TYSYM@AOL.com), December 04, 1998.

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