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Oats

OATS

OATS, grains of the genus Avena of the family Gramineae (grass family) thrive in the moist, temperate regions of the world, though they may be cultivated in a variety of climates. The most widely cultivated is the Avena sativa, a cereal grass used for food and fodder. The plant has a flowering and fruiting structure known as in-florescence and is made up of many branches bearing florets that produce the caryopsis or one-seeded fruit. Like most cultivated plants, oats were domesticated from wild varieties at an unknown time. Domestication may have occurred around 2500 b.c., which is recent compared to other common grains.

The wild oat can be traced to western Europe, where it grew as a weed. In northern Europe, as horses were increasingly used as draft animals, oats were grown as feed. Wild oats spread from Europe to other parts of the world and were brought to North America by explorers and settlers who also introduced other grains, such as wheat, rye, barley, and flax, all crops commonly produced by American farms in the twenty-first century. Bartholomew Gosnold planted oats on the Elizabeth Islands in Buzzards Bay about 1600. The Jamestown colonists planted them in 1611. They were grown early in Newfoundland and New Netherland, along with wheat, for beer and for horses, and they spread throughout the English colonies. In the eighteenth century farmers in the Middle Colonies began to use horses instead of oxen and sowed more oats for feed. It was common that as horses became more numerous, oat production increased. George Washington tended several hundred acres of oats at his Mount Vernon farm. Oatmeal became popular during the Civil War, and by the end of the war the demand for oats had increased.

Oats have a high nutritive value but are primarily produced for livestock feed. Their agricultural uses are various. Oats are valuable in crop rotation, and oat straw is used for animal feed and bedding. Those oats produced for human consumption are chiefly rolled oats, flattened kernels with the hulls removed, used as a breakfast food and a baking ingredient. Oat flour, although used in the production of some food, does not contain the glutinous type of protein necessary for making bread. Oat grains are high in carbohydrates and contain about 13 percent protein and 7.5 percent fat. They are a source of calcium, iron, and vitamin B1. Bran content varies as some or all of the bran is frequently removed and used as a separate food product. Furfural, a chemical used in various types of solvents, is derived from oat hulls.

The Quaker Oats Company, the largest U.S. producer of cereal oats, officially formed in 1901, when the Quaker Mill Company of Ohio incorporated with a large cereal mill in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the German Mills American Oatmeal Company of Ohio. In the early twenty-first century the United States was one of the leading oatproducing countries.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Beeman, Randal S., and James A. Pritchard. A Green and Permanent Land: Ecology and Agriculture in the Twentieth Century. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2001.

Heiser, Charles B., Jr. Seed to Civilization: The Story of Man's Food. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1973.

Hoffbeck, Steven R. The Haymakers: A Chronicle of Five Farm Families. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2000.

DeirdreSheets

See alsoAgriculture ; Cereal Grains .

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"Oats." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Oats." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/oats

oats

oats, cereal plants of the genus Avena of the family Gramineae (grass family). Most species are annuals of moist temperate regions. The early history of oats is obscure, but domestication is considered to be recent compared to that of the other grains—perhaps c.2500 BC During the Bronze Age, the time when horses were first used as draft animals, oats were widely grown in N Europe but were apparently still uncultivated by the civilizations around the Mediterranean. They have a high nutritive value, but of the oats now grown commercially, less than 5% is for human consumption, chiefly in the form of rolled oats or oatmeal for breakfast foods; they do not contain the glutenous type of protein necessary for making bread. The chief value of oats remains as a pasturage and hay crop, especially for horses. Oats are valuable also in crop rotation and have various industrial uses. Oat hulls are a source of furfural, and oat flour has been used as a food preservative in ice cream and other dairy products. Oat straw is preferred by farmers for animal bedding. Diseases such as cereal rusts and smuts (see diseases of plants) cause a heavy annual crop loss, but disease-resistant varieties of oats are being developed. Oats rival corn and wheat as a leading grain crop in the United States (the country of highest production), Canada, N Europe, and the countries of the former Soviet Union. The common cultivated species (A. sativa), native to Eurasia, is no longer found growing wild. Like wheat, it is broadly classified into spring and winter types, depending upon the season of planting. Oats are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Liliopsida, order Cyperales, family Gramineae.

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oats

oats Grain from Avena spp., the three best‐known being A. sativa, A. steritis, and A. strigosa. A 100‐g portion (raw) is a rich source of vitamin B1; a good source of protein, iron, and zinc; a source of niacin; contains 9 g of fat of which 20% is saturated and 40% polyunsaturated, and 7 g of dietary fibre; supplies 375 kcal (1580 kJ).

Oatmeal is ground oats; oatflour is ground oats with the bran removed; groats are husked oats; Embden groats are crushed groats; Scotch oats are groats cut into granules of various sizes; Sussex ground oats are very finely ground oats; rolled oats are crushed by rollers and partially precooked.

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"oats." A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/oats