Do you know where your bread comes from? Chances are high that it came from this unsuspecting grain storage bin at some point before reaching your dinner table.

As it turns out, these bins are a lot more innovative than they appear! They’re not just a big storage container, but an entire engineering unit that allows for optimal storage conditions to get grain in and out as quickly as possible.

Silo vs Grain Bin?

What’s that? You didn’t know there was a difference between silos and grain bins?! Okay, fine — neither did we.

It’s actually pretty easy to remember: grain bins are short and fat, while silos are tall and skinny.

We’re not giving the grain bins enough justice. Some grain bins have bases that are over 50 feet wide! These grain bins have to survive the harsh weather and winds of the farmlands all while keeping your food fresh.

So How Is It Innovative?

In many ways actually! One innovative part of the grain bin is storage capability.

As grain is poured into the bin, a fan reduces the moisture levels significantly. (Skip to 9:00 in the video below to hear just how giant this fan is.)

As the air pushes the water out of the grain from the bottom (through expertly sized holes that allow airflow from the base), the moisture moves up the bin.

This is where a second innovation comes into play. The geniuses behind food science and engineering discovered that they could, actually mix in dry grains with wet beans; the bean’s skin allows for air to pass through it, while the bean absorbs the moisture.

This leaves the grain bin with humidity, but not moisture. The farmers measure that perfect humidity level to prevent mold and fungus from growing on their grains.

Clearly we don’t give farmers enough credit on the tech side… there’s a massive amount of expertise and engineering involved in growing, storing, and getting food from farm to plate!

Watch the full video by SmarterEveryDay here:

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