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When there's Big News in the Whole Grains Council, we send out a press release and post it in the press release section of this website. But every day, the momentum of whole grains moves forward in many smaller ways, which you can read about here. Come back often, and see what's new, or subscribe with our RSS feed.

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Whole Grains: Good Mood Food!

June 18, 2014

We all know that eating well and taking care of your body can improve your physical health but did you know that it can also improve your mental health? Studies have shown that diets high in fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and – you’ve got it – whole grains can help reduce mood swings, anxiety, and depression. 

Many whole grains are naturally rich in an amino acid called tryptophan, which your body needs to produce serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin, the “feel-good hormone,” improves mood and relaxes brain and body, while melatonin helps establish and maintain steady sleep cycles. It’s easy to see why foods high in tryptophan may help keep depression at bay and promote healthy sleeping patterns that are very important to mental well being and health. 

WIC Program Finalizes Whole Grain Rules

June 11, 2014

Earlier this spring, USDA finalized changes to the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) supplemental feeding program. The updates – first proposed in December 2007 – became effective in October 2009. Although at this point they were still considered “interim rules,” subject to final comments and tweaks, their provisions for offering more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other healthy foods hit the ground running.

Grains, Coming to a Field Near You

June 4, 2014

 As you dig into your morning cereal or lunchtime grain salad, do you ever have that moment of “but where do my grains come from?” We all enjoy deliciously hearty whole grains but do we ever take the time to think of where they really grow and the farmers who grow them? We sort of vaguely know they come from a gloriously green field, some bucolic farm where stalks of grain gracefully dance in a warm breeze…and then poof, the grains are magically on our plates. 

NRA Showcases Whole Grains

May 28, 2014

Every year the NRA (that’s the National Restaurant Association – not the guns one) holds its annual convention in Chicago in May. With nearly 2,000 exhibitors and upwards of 60,000 people, it’s an enormous show. My job was to see and taste it all, in three days. In today’s blog, I’ll share the whole grain highlights with you.

One theme that was very evident on the show floor was an increasing attention to different and less common grains. At past shows, whole wheat bread and brown rice were perhaps the most obvious torchbearers for whole grains. We love ‘em both, but what a delight to see more whole grains represented, in more different forms.

Grain: From Field to Flour

May 21, 2014

In a charming town tucked in the northwest corner of Ohio lies Historic Sauder Village, a little piece of history that will take you back in time to the old ways of the old days. Sauder Village offers a unique experience that goes beyond typical reenactments; from sheep shearing in the traditional way to harvesting and preserving in the fall, the Village offers a glimpse into life in a much simpler time. But where do whole grains fit in here?

Sales of "Stamped" Products are Up!

May 14, 2014

Products using the Whole Grain Stamp continue to play a growing role in supermarket sales. If you’ve been keeping your eyes open in the grocery aisles, you’ve probably observed the proliferation of the Stamp for yourself. But we’ve got more than anecdotal evidence: we’ve got hard data showing the increased sales of Stamped products.

This evidence comes from an organization called SPINS, the leading provider of retail sales data and analytics for the Natural, Organic and Specialty Products industry. SPINS has long tracked the sales of better-for-you products in both natural and conventional channels and now, through a partnership with IRI, they are expanding their tracking to even more outlets; today their numbers cover about 58% of an estimated $81.2 billion in US sales of natural/organic products.

Oatmeal on the Go!

May 7, 2014

We’ve all been there. Running out the door, car keys in hand, cell phone precariously perched in a pocket, rain jacket-snow boots-flip flops (for those of us who live in crazy New England and are always prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at us!) all stuffed into a bag dangling from your arm when you hear a rumble from the depths of your stomach. Then it hits you: in the chaos that was your morning, you forgot to eat the belly-warming, fiber-full breakfast that you need to kickstart your day. What are the options? Grab something on the fly hoping it will fill you up or put a hold on starting your day? Alas, the busy morning conundrum!

What IS a Whole Grain Food, Anyway?

April 30, 2014

Do you know what a whole grain food is? “Sure,” you may answer, without hesitation. “A side of brown rice, a slice of 100% whole wheat bread, a bowl of oatmeal – they’re all whole grain foods. It’s easy.”

It is, in fact, easy to identify simple 100% whole grain foods, especially those with short ingredient lists. I buy a tube of oatmeal, and the label has just one ingredient: oats. I fix a pot of quinoa from a bag with just one ingredient – quinoa – and have no doubts. Easy-peasy, this “whole grain food” thing.

Whole Grains in Umbria!

April 23, 2014

Last month, I was lucky enough to be included in the Oldways Culinaria trip to Umbria. Known as the green heart of Italy, Umbria is the only region in Italy that doesn’t border either water or another country. The land is exquisitely green, hilly, lush, and rich with delectable foods. The week was full of amazingly delicious cuisine, wine, and Umbrian activities, including a truffle hunt, a farm visit, and a pasta making demonstration (just to name a few!).

WG Sampling Day 2014 Picture Gallery

April 16, 2014

This year’s National Whole Grain Sampling Day was the best ever, and today’s blog will share some of the highlights. We’re going heavy on the photos, so you can get a feel for all the wonderful variety of activities that happened across the country.

We had dozens of great partners this year, including Google, one of our most creative collaborators. Google took Whole Grain Sampling Day to the international level, with all kinds of fun at their many workplace cafes.

Our friends at Google emailed saying, "We had a great time celebrating Whole Grain Sampling Day over here at Google. A great event, with huge turnout. On Wednesday, we had over 100 Google cafes around the globe participate by serving up whole grain dishes and showcasing whole grains through an additional activity." 


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