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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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Guest Chef Visits Veteran School Challenge Winners

May 1, 2013

The 2012 Whole Grain Challenge offered the opportunity for “veteran” and “rookie” schools to win cases of whole grain products by sharing their whole grain cooking experiences. While the top 10 schools were sent cases of whole grain products, the two grand prizewinners had the honor of hosting a special guest chef in their school to conduct a staff workshop on whole grain cooking.

Nutrition Specialist Angie Gaszak and her team at Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) were the Grand Prize winning school in the veteran category. Their tried-and-true method of slowly incorporating new foods that honor their diverse population of students truly impressed our judges.

Happy Sprouted Grains Month

April 25, 2013

I didn't want April to end without a salute to sprouted grains, April's Grain of the Month here at the Whole Grains Council. With sprouted grains becoming increasingly popular, we'd like to use this blog to answer some of the most common questions we get about them.

Q. What exactly is a sprouted grain?
A. Grain kernels are actually the seed of a new plant, so sprouting is what they do naturally, when the right moisture and temperature are present. As a grain kernel sprouts, or germinates, its starches turn into sugars that are easier for the new baby plant to digest -- and may also be easier for some humans to digest too. Generally sprouting is stopped with the sprout is just peeking out of the kernel -- equal in length, or smaller, than the length of the kernel. 

For Boston!

April 18, 2013

As many of you know, the Whole Grains Council is located right in the heart of Boston, just blocks from Copley Square. Copley is home to the Boston Public Library, Old South Church, Trinity Church, John Hancock Tower and every year on the third Monday in April -- Patriot’s Day -- the Boston Marathon finish line. A day usually filled with happy cheers, pride, and admirable athleticism was marred with sadness and heartbreak. 

In light of the Boston Marathon tragedy, we've decided to devote this week to highlighting some of the very positive things that are going on in Boston's Back Bay. Today's blog will feature just a sampling of the wonderful whole grain choices available within 10 blocks of the Boston offices of Oldways and the Whole Grains Council.

Boston Celebrates Sampling Day

April 9, 2013

Here in Boston, one of the most popular modes of transportation is the Boston Duck Boat Tours. On a typical day, these all-terrain vehicles take tourists through the city (and into the Charles River!) to see the city’s great landmarks. But last Wednesday, on Whole Grain Sampling Day, one of the duck boats served a different purpose. It took the WGC team and volunteers all around town to dish out whole grain goodies in celebration of Whole Grain Sampling Day.

Q&A: Boston University Goes Whole Grain

March 28, 2013

Right down the street from Oldways and WGC headquarters is the bustling campus of Boston University, with nearly 30,000 students and 8,000 staff members. It was this time last year, during Whole Grain Sampling Day 2012, where we met students and faculty of BU and their partners, the Sargent Choice Nutrition Center staff.

The Sargent Choice Nutrition Center, with five full-time registered dietitians, provides a variety of services to the BU community and the general public. One thing that impressed us mightily is their tireless campaign to bring healthier choices to the BU dining halls, through the Sargent Choice Healthy Dining Program.

Health Study: Kamut Wheat vs. Modern Wheat

March 21, 2013

Is ancient wheat healthier than modern wheat? In some respects it may be, according to an Italian study published recently in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Scientists at Careggi University Hospital in Florence conducted a randomized crossover study including three eight-week periods: one in which subjects ate their normal diet but with all grain products – bread, crackers, pasta and cookies – made with Kamut® brand Khorasan wheat, a washout period of eight weeks, and eight weeks in which all grain products were made with modern Durum wheat and soft wheat.

Stocking a Whole Grain Pantry!

March 14, 2013

As an avid, albeit amateur, baker, I like to keep my kitchen pantry stocked with the baking (and cooking!) essentials at all times. To ensure that I am working with the best, freshest, and healthiest ingredients in my kitchen, I always keep both cooked and raw whole grains on hand… and that doesn’t just mean flour! 

Along with a healthy supply of whole wheat flour for both baking and cooking, I also like to stock things like quinoa, farro, millet, and of course my favorite: oatmeal. All of these ingredients are delicious and nutritious on their own but are also wonderful ingredients in both sweet and savory dishes.  Quinoa and millet are great additions to soups and salads and also work wonders in cookies, breads and bars. Oatmeal is always my old breakfast go to but I also use it to add heartiness to meatloaf, burgers and have even substituted it for bread crumbs and ground it up into oat flour!

Making Traditional Irish Soda Bread

March 6, 2013

With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner (and because I’m always thinking about food), I decided to learn more about the tradition and history behind Irish soda bread.  

This quick and cheap-to-make bread most likely originated in early nineteenth century Ireland, when whole-meal soft wheat flour was abundant and the remaining three ingredients – salt, baking soda and buttermilk – were readily available.  Not responding as well as hard wheat to yeast, the soft wheat flour leavens when the soda reacts to the lactic acid in buttermilk, creating tiny bubbles during baking.  

Aussies Told to Increase Whole Grains 160%

February 19, 2013

Remember that scene in Steve Martin's film "The Jerk" when he gets so excited by the arrival of the new phone book? We felt the same way today at the WGC when we learned that the Australians had released their first new dietary guidelines in 10 years -- with a strong recommendation for eating more whole grains.

In fact, Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council says that Australian adults need to increase whole grain consumption by 160% and decrease refined grain consumption by 30% in order to meet recommended intakes. Kids "Down Under" are apparently doing better than the adults; they only need 20-60% more whole grain (depending on age group) and 10-30% less refined grain.

Whole Grain Crusaders!

February 15, 2013

Here at the Whole Grains Council, we are always so excited to hear that more and more people are incorporating whole grains into their diets. When we hear about young people taking the whole grain cause into their own hands and encouraging their peers to eat whole grains… well, we’re just over the moon! 


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