FAQs

FAQs2021-06-16T13:46:37-04:00
Is buckwheat part of the wheat family?2021-07-22T08:26:59-04:00

Buckwheat belongs to a group of foods commonly called pseudocereals, that are consumed as cereal grains but don’t grow on grasses. Other common pseudocereals include quinoa and amaranth. Despite its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat and is thus gluten-free.

In fact, buckwheat is not a grain at all but a seed.

Do you charge for shipping?2021-05-13T13:32:10-04:00

Depending on the amount of your order our shipping rates change. Below is a breakdown of our current shipping costs. Please note, these prices only apply to The Birkett Mills retail customers buying retail products from us. If you are a wholesaler or distributor, please call us to discuss shipping and pickup.

Product Total Shipping Cost
Less than $29 $10 shipping
$29 to $58.99 $5 shipping
More than $59 FREE SHIPPING

Please note, we are not able to ship products to PO Boxes. If you order online, you’ll have to provide a residential address.

Are your buckwheat products certified gluten free?2021-06-16T11:02:02-04:00

No, our buckwheat products are not technically certified gluten-free, but we do label our products gluten-free. Here’s why we feel comfortable doing that:

FDA Ruling

On August 2, 2013, the FDA issued a final rule defining “gluten-free” for food labeling, which is helping consumers, especially those living with celiac disease, be confident that items labeled “gluten-free” meet a defined standard for gluten content. “Gluten-free” is a voluntary claim that can be used by food manufacturers on food labels if they meet all the requirements of the regulations. Since buckwheat inherently does not contain gluten, we label our buckwheat products gluten-free.

Cleaning &  Testing

Before unloading the grain, our buckwheat receiving house operator probes the truck or rail car in multiple locations to get a sample. Along with performing organoleptic tests, he or she also takes a sample to inspect for any glutinous grains or soy. If these are present over a certain threshold, the load is rejected as to not contaminate our bins.

Once the grain is unloaded, it goes through a variety of cleaning equipment & systems. In addition to table separators, disc cleaners, and gravity tables, we also have a color sorter that serves as the final defense line for non-buckwheat grains. Because of the size, density and color of buckwheat compared to other glutinous grains, we’re able to separate buckwheat effectively. Although the FDA industry standard is 20ppm, we test a commingled sample of the end product to ensure it is under 10ppm gluten.

Are there any allergens in your buckwheat products?2021-06-16T13:34:45-04:00

We understand how important it is to ensure our products are manufactured safely and allergen-free. Below is a little information about our approach to mitigating allergens throughout the supply chain.

Dedicated Buckwheat Line

Our buckwheat products are prepared on a dedicated line in our Penn Yan, NY mill. The equipment is only used to mill buckwheat, as we don’t want to take the chance of cross-contamination with wheat products or any other potential allergens. We do not manufacture any products that include eggs, peanuts, tree-nuts or seeds.

Educating Farmers

As you know, cross contamination can occur at many points in the food chain, from shared equipment on the farm to the transportation of the commodities to the mill. We work with farmers to educate them on the importance of controlling allergens in their supply chain, but take extra care to ensure cleaning steps are in place in our production line to eliminate other grains or foreign material.

Cleaning & Testing

Before unloading the grain, our buckwheat receiving house operator probes the truck or rail car in multiple locations to get a sample. Along with performing organoleptic tests, he or she also takes a sample to inspect for any glutinous grains or soy. If these are present over a certain threshold, the load is rejected as to not contaminate our bins.

Once the grain is unloaded, it goes through a variety of cleaning equipment & systems. In addition to table separators, disc cleaners, and gravity tables, we also have a color sorter that serves as the final defense line for non-buckwheat grains. Because of the size, density, and color of buckwheat compared to other glutinous grains, we’re able to separate buckwheat effectively. Although the FDA industry standard is 20ppm, we test a commingled sample of the end product to ensure it is under 10ppm gluten.
Why is the price different at separate grocery stores or supermarkets?2021-04-22T14:00:05-04:00

We understand that at times the various prices of products in the marketplace can be confusing. It’s important for us to be transparent about pricing.

Distributors

The majority of our buckwheat business is selling to distributors. Distributors then sell the product on to grocery stores, like Publix for example. The prices of our Pocono or Wolff’s products are largely at the whim of the distributors and retailers as both parties markup the price of the product as they see fit to cover their expenses and secure a profit.

This practice often leads to vastly different prices at various grocery and supermarkets. For example, in New York City, you can find Wolff’s Kasha ranging in price from $3.39 to $4.49 depending on the store it’s in. It all depends on what markup percentage they use since distributors/stores buy from us at the exact same prices.

Raw Buckwheat Grain

A second factor to consider when it comes to pricing is the cost of raw buckwheat grain. The cost of buckwheat grain has increased a great deal in the last few years.

We buy raw buckwheat grain directly from farmers each year and the market conditions have dictated that a bushel this year was 10% more expensive than prior years. For this reason, all manufacturers of buckwheat products have had increased manufacturing costs. We’re confident that if you compare our cost per ounce versus a competitor, you’d find our prices are very competitive.

Options

We know inconsistencies with pricing can lead to frustrations. Call us at (315) 536-3311 and we’ll work with you to get the best price possible.

Where can I find your products?2021-04-21T18:33:18-04:00

Thank you for your interest in our products! Below is a breakdown of a few options for getting our products, whether it be buckwheat or soft red wheat flour.

Finding Our Buckwheat Products

It’s difficult for us to pinpoint exactly where our products end up, as we mostly sell directly to distributors who then resell our products onto supermarkets. Some distributors pass this information along, while others do not.  Here are some different options for you:

Finding a Retail Location: The best way to find out if there is a supermarket near you that carries our product is to give us a call at (315) 536-3311 or live chat with us on our website.

Buy Direct from The Birkett Mills: Get the freshest product, right from our mill, when you order directly from us! As a small business, we do have to charge shipping in order to cover costs, but we are happy to offer a sliding scale. What’s it mean for you? The more you order, the less you’ll pay in shipping.

Buy from Amazon: We’re proud to offer a small selection of products on Amazon, and understand the benefits of ordering directly from them. You can see the products we offer here.

Finding Our Soft Red Wheat Flour Products

Buy Direct from The Birkett Mills: Get the freshest product, right from our mill, when you order directly from us! As a small business, we do have to charge shipping in order to cover costs, but we are happy to offer a sliding scale. What’s it mean for you? The more you order, the less you’ll pay in shipping.

Other Options: The best way to find out where to get our soft red wheat flour products in the marketplace is to call us at (315) 536-3311!

What types of buckwheat flours do you have?2021-06-16T13:45:29-04:00

Made from 100% stone-ground buckwheat, our three buckwheat flours each have a unique, delicious flavor to meet your baking needs! Try it as a primary flour or combine it with traditional wheat flour as you see fit. Do you, or your business, need something specific? Our millers love a good challenge, so let us know.

Light Buckwheat Flour

Pure, delicate and nutritious. With the hulls completely removed during the milling process, our lightest buckwheat flour is perfect for fluffy cookies, soba noodles and more!

Whole Buckwheat Flour

A top seller! Our customers tell us that this whole grain, versatile buckwheat flour adds a rich, distinctive flavor to their baking. Bake pancakes, crepes or a variety of dishes to your delight!

Dark Buckwheat Flour

Add a bold, earthy flavor to your baking with our darkest buckwheat flour! Create delightful buckwheat pancakes, or use it to darken other pastries.

What are the different sizes/granulations of kasha or buckwheat groats?2021-06-16T13:59:25-04:00

With more than 220 years of grain milling experience, our stone-ground technique produces the following granulations in both organic and conventional products. Note: Certain granulations are not available in our certified organic retail products.

Whole Granulation
Whole
Coarse
Medium
Fine
Are your buckwheat products non-GMO?2021-06-16T13:35:23-04:00

Short answer: Yes, all of our buckwheat products are milled from GMO-free buckwheat.

People are seeking foods that have not been genetically modified, and it’s one of our biggest beliefs that what grows in the ground should not be altered in any way. We often say our products are ‘naturally non-GMO’ because there is no such thing as genetically modified buckwheat, such a product doesn’t exist.

Why has your nutrition label changed?2021-06-16T13:36:47-04:00

There are a few reasons you might see information displayed differently on our nutritional labels.

First, we send our products into an accredited nutrition lab for testing and that lab provides us the nutritional analysis that is displayed on all of our packaging.

Second, the regulations around labeling food are constantly changing. If numbers have changed, it’s likely that we had to change them to be compliant with the latest laws and regulations. Again, we are provided the nutritional information via an accredited nutrition lab.

If you need assistance understanding nutrition labels in general, use this helpful guide from the Food & Drug Administration.

Why is there a ‘cook before eating’ warning?2021-04-04T20:43:13-04:00

After working with food safety experts, we’ve recently changed the labels on all of our products to include the following statements:

Buckwheat products: Buckwheat is a raw agricultural ingredient and must be fully cooked before enjoying.

Wheat flour products: Wheat is a raw agricultural product that is not subjected to a microbiological kill step. This product is not ready to eat and is intended for further processing.

Our products, whether buckwheat or wheat, do not go through a five-log reduction kill step during the milling process that most “ready to eat foods” go through. This means we don’t test for typical pathogens like E. coli or Salmonella.

After a series of flour recalls over the past few years, and ever-changing FSMA regulations, we decided to add this language to make sure we’re exceeding the highest food safety standards.

We do recommend you cook the product before consuming it. We often think of it like baking cookies – they say you should never eat raw cookie dough because of the raw flour that is in there.

Where do you get your buckwheat from?2021-06-16T11:02:47-04:00

We’re proud to source our buckwheat from family farms across North America! While we source across several states and into Canada, all of the buckwheat is milled in the United States in our Penn Yan, NY mill – as it has been since 1797!

Can your pancake mix be used for things other than pancakes?2021-04-04T20:43:13-04:00

Of course, the best way to enjoy our pancake mix is by making pancakes. Tasty, delicious and all the ingredients in one bag. But, we understand you want to see if there are any other uses.

We have heard of some folks using our pancake mixes to make other products, often as a flour substitute. We found a few articles online that could apply:

Take a look and see if you get any inspiration from those. We are not affiliated with any of those websites and cannot explicitly endorse them.

Remember that our pancake mixes are not ready to eat products, so be sure to cook before consuming.

One other thing to note, but if you’re looking for a true substitute for flour you can check out our USDA Certified Organic Pocono Buckwheat Flour.

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