Two Letters Re: Is Grain Sold as Seed or Animal Feed Safe to Eat?

A reader asked about “deer wheat” in a video posted on Youtube. The intent of the video was to show how someone could inexpensively pack their own dry goods, not to argue the merit of “feed” wheat.

Just to clarify though, the wheat in the video was purchased from a feed store selling it as “feed” wheat not as “deer wheat.” As you mentioned there is essentially two types you’ll find at feed stores- seed wheat and feed wheat.

Down in the southern parts of the country there are more insect problems, so much of the “seed” wheat is treated with pesticides. The good news is that if you can smell, it will be readily recognizable to you as having pesticides on it.

Having purchased and packed a fair amount of “feed wheat” for personal use and having talked to numerous grain mills in this area, here’s what I’ve found-

The “feed” variety of wheat isn’t cleaned as much as “triple cleaned” wheat which is normally what is sold for human consumption.

Quality typically varies from one source to the next. We recommend folks buy one bag to start with after telling the store owner you need non-treated wheat for animal feed. Lots of people mix there own scratch grains, etc. so this is not uncommon. Get the bag home and test it for yourself. We have only noticed a slightly higher amount of grain dust and chaff, but again this will vary from one source to the next. You could always winnow this out yourself if you so desired.

It does offer a cheap alternative for folks to put up wheat. I realize not everyone will see the utility of using this type of food, nor will everyone “approve” of it. I can only tell you that my family (and others) have consumed quite a bit of this with no ill affects. – Dave in Idaho


While animal feed at this time is not par with food, these rules will be changing. The FDA is pressuring, producers, storage facilities and feed mills to bring their standards up to human food chain levels. We will see this transformation in the next three to five years as laws will be brought forth to force this process.

Speaking of food and feed, we are going to see another twenty percent rise in wholesale food pricing within this year.

The preceding statements came to me from the heads of various feed mills, food manufacturing plants and grain shipping/storage facilities where I conduct pest control services on the west coast. – S.M.