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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Going with the 'Whole' Grain for the Holidays

December 6, 2011

Like countless other cooks in America, I spent hours in the kitchen before and during Thanksgiving, preparing vegetables, baking pies, and roasting a turkey. My family expects and pretty much demands these traditional holiday foods and, for the most part, I enjoy the ritual of putting them on the table.

This year, I also wanted to spend some time playing with whole grains and finding a way to give them a starring role in the big meal, too. (I once stuffed the turkey with brown rice, an experience I don’t need to repeat.)

I decided to put together a platter of grain salads that would be all about the simple earthy and wholesome goodness of these nutritious foods and that would taste great served at room temperature. Variety was key, for color and texture.

Campus Dining Gets Good Grades

December 2, 2011

For many students, going off to college is their first taste of independence.  It’s an exciting time, reaching this important stage of life.  But while embracing their independence, many find themselves unprepared when it comes to nutrition.  Only a small number of students arrive at school armed with the knowledge of how to shop, cook or make good food choices.

Not to worry. College and university administrators have heard the cry for help and are coming to the rescue.  During this year’s Whole Grains Challenge, we were delighted to see so many colleges bring student nutrition and healthy eating programs to the forefront. 

Be Thankful for Whole Grains

November 21, 2011

None of us here at Oldways and the Whole Grains Council subscribe to the “hold your nose and eat it; it’s good for you” approach to nutrition. For us, the starting point is delicious food, with a seconday, “Oh yeah, it’s good for you, too” kick at the end.

At no time of year is this more true than at Thanksgiving. It’s my absolute favorite holiday, because it’s all about family and food, with hardly a trace of commercialism. (Really – do you know anyone who hangs Thanksgiving lights or exchanges Thanksgiving presents?) I also like Thanksgiving because it’s all-inclusive here in the USA. You can go up to anyone and wish them a Happy Thanksgiving without wondering about their religious or political beliefs.

Whole Grains Reduce Colon Cancer Risk

November 16, 2011

A diet high in fiber from cereals and whole grains reduces the risk of colon cancer, according to a study published this month in the British Medical Journal. Fiber from fruits and vegetables, while also reducing risk, has weaker benefits against this type of cancer.

Having a Bad Day? Eat Whole Grains.

November 11, 2011

Next time you're feeling down, it might be time to re-evaluate your diet and add in some more whole grains.

With the growing rates of anxiety and stress-related illnesses, everyone is looking for healthy alternatives to calm their frazzled nerves.  Where refined, processed and fat-laden foods can increase anxious feelings, whole grains can counteract those feelings by providing a more consistent energy level, higher spirits and even help you relax.

Spain Begins to Discover Whole Grains

November 1, 2011

One of my favorite parts of foreign travel is checking out the local whole grains scene, and my trip to Madrid last week for the FENS (Federation of European Nutrition Societies) conference gave me the chance to take the pulse of yet another country.

Whole grains are just beginning to appear on Spaniards’ radar. I feared the worst when we were served ham sandwiches on white rolls for lunch at the conference. People, this is a nutrition conference! Does it make sense for us to sit all morning in sessions extolling the importance of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and then eat a white bun with cured meat? (I'm spoiled by Oldways conferences, where healthy delicious food is carefully crafted to illustrate the conference topics.)

When I got out into the streets and away from the conference, however, I found enough whole grain choices to cheer me up. Here’s the story in photos.

Celebrate World Pasta Day!

October 25, 2011

Started in 1995 in Rome, World Pasta Day promotes the health benefits and pure pleasure of eating pasta, in every shape and form. This day offers an opportunity to highlight the nutritional and culinary advantages of this international food.  Found on every continent, pasta is an essential part of numerous traditional diets, but most famously, the Mediterranean Diet.   

Pasta is the perfect vehicle for adding more vegetables and legumes to the plate. Fueling the body, the carbohydrates provided by pasta are long lasting making it a perfect meal for anyone living a healthy dynamic lifestyle. And with the growing popularity of whole grain and gluten-free pastas, everyone can enjoy it!

Freekeh: The Hot New Ancient Grain

October 19, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I had a long chat with Coach and Wellness Warrior, Bonnie Matthews.  Bonnie, working closely with WGC member Nature’s Organic Grist, has been promoting the incredible nutritional values of this whole grain and attributes much of her weight loss success to it.  Bonnie was sharing with me the benefits of freekeh, an up and coming grain with a long history. 

I was immediately intrigued but before I could even start this blog, I learned that another WGC member, foodservice specialists Indian Harvest, was introducing freekeh to its product line. Suddenly, this grain that I had not even heard of a few weeks ago was showing up everywhere I turned!

Whole Grain Risotto? Experts say YES!

October 7, 2011

If you’ve ever ordered risotto in a good restaurant, you know that it’s a masterpiece of slightly al dente rice carried in a sea of creamy deliciousness, often enhanced with vegetables, fish or other goodies. And, if you’ve actually cooked risotto at home – or even if you just read cookbooks and let others do the cooking – you know that the rice usually recommended to use for risotto is arborio rice, a short-grain white rice.

Arborio rice is used because it readily gives off starch as it’s cooked and stirred, creating a wonderful creamy base from the stock, cheese and seasonings you’ve added to the rice. Switching out that white arborio rice to readily available (often long grain) brown rice just doesn’t create the same creamy goodness.

Ancient Grains for Modern Meals

September 29, 2011

In the new cookbook Ancient Grains for Modern Meals author Maria Speck shares her enchantment with whole grains, and with good food in general. How could I not be drawn to a book whose introduction is titled “The glamour of whole grains”?  It just was not possible. Here’s some of the first paragraph:

I crave the tender chewiness of brown rice, the soft, translucent pearls of quinoa, and the warming lightness of millet. I love the subtle sweetnes of whole oats, the slight sourness of rye, and the pleasing nuttiness of wheat berries. But I don’t eat whole grains because they are healthy or wholesome, or to reap their nutritional benefits. To me, whole grains carry luxurious qualities: lively textures, vivid colors, and rich flavors.

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