whole grain news



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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Grain Requirements Final for School Meals

April 30, 2012

USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) today released a memo clarifying how foods can qualify as “whole grain rich” for the new U.S. school lunch and breakfast requirements. Any companies providing whole grain foods for schools will want to read the full memo, as well as reviewing our commentary of the most important points below.

What is Whole Grain-Rich?

It's simple: At least 50% of the grain in a food must be whole grain for the food to qualify as “whole grain-rich.”

If a school is not sure what percent of the grain is whole grain, FNS offers three criteria, any one of which can potentially qualify the food:

Sampling Day a Win-Win for All

April 26, 2012

When planning first-time events, there is a certain amount of anxiety that builds.  Second-guessing ourselves, “will the idea work?” and “did we give folks enough time?”  Well, worry no more, the results are in from our first-ever Whole Grain Sampling Day and it was a success by every measure!  So much so, that we just had to share some of the wonderful stories we heard.

White Bread: A Book Review

April 23, 2012

I hesitated when Beacon Press offered to send me a copy of their recently-published book White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf by Aaron Bobrow-Strain. Why would someone like me, who’s passionate about whole grains, want to read a book about white bread?

After only a few pages, the answer to that question was clear. Bobrow-Strain weaves a fascinating, meticulously documented tale that gives invaluable context and background to the work that the Whole Grains Council does every day. I was hooked a few pages in, and devoured White Bread cover to cover.

Whole Grains for Athletes!

April 20, 2012

Monday was the Boston Marathon, which inspired me to write this week’s blog about athletes and whole grains.  Now, I have always fancied myself pretty sporty (though there are not any marathons in my immediate future,) but after changing my eating habits in the last six months, I have experienced a noticeable change in my workouts.

Charts and graphs and stats, OH MY! Tracking Stamp Success

April 11, 2012

Crunching numbers might not be as enjoyable as crunching popcorn, but being able to watch and track the success of our Whole Grain Stamp Program is, in fact, pretty cool. (And, we have to admit, more fun than crunching numbers for our taxes this week!) Our conclusion after poring through the data? We’re helping millions of consumers find whole grain products, and spurring manufacurers to create more and better products.

WGC Featured on New Oldways Site

April 11, 2012

Oldways, the nonprofit organization that founded and manages the Whole Grains Council, has launched a beautiful new website showcasing all of its major programs – including the WGC.

Here's a peek at the Home Page, where whole grains are featured in one of the rotating photos. There are links, of course, to major topics, and also "doors" to resources for different groups that benefit from Oldways educational programs and materials.

WG Sampling on a Duck Boat!

April 4, 2012

Happy Whole Grain Sampling Day! We spent most of the day today tooling around Boston in a commandeered Duck Boat, handing out whole grain samples to everyone we met. Duck boats attract attention even when they aren't proclaiming Whole Grain Sampling Day, so you can imagine the attention we garnered with our special banners and t-shirts.

Here we are, at 7:15 this morning, getting our Duck Boat ready to roam the streets. While we were still packing up and tying the banners on, a bicyclist whizzed by shouting, "Where are my samples?" We invited him to double back and handed him a delicious blueberry muffin top from Muffintown. (That's Roger Piffer, e-commerce Marketing Director at Muffintown, in the background.)

Popcorn: The Perfect Snack Food

March 28, 2012

“Popcorn may be the perfect snack food,” University of Scranton, Pennsylvania, chemist Joe Vinson says. How many of you have been waiting to hear these words? I know I have. Vinson goes on to say, “It’s the only snack that is 100 percent whole grain…[and has] antioxidants and a lot more fiber than most other vegetables and fruits.”  Not to mention it’s minimally processed and low calorie! Antioxidants and fiber? In popcorn? Let’s clear a few things up.

Weight Loss, Decreased Fat with Whole Grain

March 19, 2012

Switching to whole grains may reduce body fat and aid heart health, according to scientists at the University of Copenhagen who reported their work in the Journal of Nutrition. In a twelve-week, randomized clinical trial, they asked 79 overweight or obese postmenopausal women to eat a calorie-restricted diet the grain part of which incorporated either 480 calories of refined grain foods or the same amount of whole grain foods. Those eating the diet with whole grains lost more weight (3.6kg vs 2.7kg) and saw a more significant decrease in body fat (3% reduction vs 2.1%) compared to those eating refined grains. Cholesterol levels increased 5% in the refined group, highlighting the heart benefits of choosing whole grains instead of refined.

Whole Grain Pairings

March 16, 2012

You might be asking yourself, “I’ve heard of wine and cheese pairings, but I’ve never heard of whole grain pairings.  That’s because I made it up.  I was thinking of all the yummy whole grains we talk about and sure, we share recipes, but what we really need is a real simple guide to pairing whole grains with other ingredients to maximize their flavor and health potential.

Pasta & Tomatoes.  It’s no accident that these two are often seen together on dinner plates everywhere; this combination is popular in almost every culture.  Start with a whole grain pasta like whole wheat and toss with a can of diced tomatoes for a dose of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant shown to prevent some cancers.  In season, fresh tomatoes are a delight, but the canned varieties surprisingly contain more lycopene than raw tomatoes. A simple, yet successful marriage. 

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