Economics of Spelt

Student activity based on “How’s That Spelt?” article from the June/July/Aug 2005 Our Ohio magazine.

Academic Content Standard (Economics grade 3-5): Students use economic concepts to make informed choices as producers, consumers, workers and citizens in an interdependent world. (Note: Key terms used from Ohio’s Academic Content Standards are in bold below).

Discussion points

  • After reading this article, ask these questions: Who produces spelt? Who consumes spelt? Why is the demand for spelt is increasing?
  • Spelt is a specialized product. Why can the producer charge more money for a specialized product than a product that is not considered specialized?
  • Why might the price for a loaf of bread made with spelt be greater than the price for a loaf of bread made with wheat?
  • What entrepreneur began producing spelt as an alternative grain crop in Ohio?
  • How can people who produce spelt sell more in Ohio and even throughout the world? Where would you sell products that contain spelt?

Hands on at Home

  • Visit a grocery store or a health food store and locate specialized spelt products. Compare costs of items that include spelt with items that do not include specialized grains.
  • Look around the store to see if there is any extra advertising concerning spelt products.
  • Purchase a food item containing spelt and a similar one containing a more common grain. Do a taste test and decide which product you prefer.
  • Do Web research with the keyword “spelt” and see what companies sell spelt products.
  • Find spelt recipes on the Web and product a spelt product for consumption by your family.

This student activity was prepared by Camille Kopczewski, who is coordinator of religious education at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Grove City. She is a former sixth grade social studies teacher for South-Western City Schools. She has undergraduate and graduate degrees in education.