Stamp FAQ - Consumers
Here are answers to the questions consumers ask us most often about the Whole Grain Stamp.
Q. How does your Whole Grain Stamp help me easily find whole grain products?
A. Scientists and government guidelines recommend that all adults eat at least three servings of whole grain each day. The eye-catching black and gold Whole Grain Stamp makes finding whole grains simple.
Look for the Stamp every time you buy grain products. Each "Stamped" product guarantees you at least half a serving of whole grains. The Stamp makes it easy to get your recommended three servings or more of whole grains each day: Eating three whole grain food products labeled "100% Whole Grain" does the trick – or six products bearing ANY Whole Grain Stamp.
Q. Where on the package will I find the Stamp?
A. Whole Grain Stamps can be anywhere on the package. It's easiest when they're on the front, of course, but some manufacturers choose to put the Stamp on the side or the back of the package.
Q. What types of products can use the Stamp?
A. All sorts of products can use the Stamp — bread, cereal, cake, cookies, crackers, granola, soups, stuffing, pie crusts, tortillas, chips, energy bars, pretzels, popcorn, pasta, flour, bagels, veggie burgers, mixes, wraps and more — as long as they contain at least half a serving — 8 grams — or more of whole grain.
Q. What kinds of grains qualify as WHOLE grains?
A. All grains start out as whole grains. If, after processing, they retain all three parts of the original grain — the germ, the bran and the endosperm — in their original proportions, they still qualify as whole grains. More...
Look for a wide variety of delicious whole grains including: Amaranth, Barley, Brown and Colored Rice, Buckwheat, Bulgur, Corn and Whole Cornmeal, Emmer, Farro, Kamut® grain, Millet, Oatmeal and Whole Oats, Popcorn, Quinoa, Sorghum, Spelt, Teff, Triticale, Whole Rye, Whole or Cracked Wheat, Wheatberries, and Wild Rice. More...
Q. What about flax and soy? Do they count as whole grain?
A. No. From a nutritional and botanical point of view seeds (like flax, sesame, sunflower and poppy), nuts and legumes – while healthy foods in their own right – are not included as whole grains.
Q. How do companies qualify to use the Stamp? How do I know I can trust the Stamp?
A. Companies must be members of the Whole Grains Council, and must file information about each qualifying product with the Council. Companies also sign a legal agreement that they will abide by all rules and guidelines of the Stamp program. So you can trust the Stamp to help you find legitimate whole grain products containing at least half a serving of whole grain. If you want more details about how products qualify for the Whole Grain Stamp, it's all explained on the How to Use the Stamp page of this website.
Q. How much actual whole grain is in a product bearing the Whole Grain Stamp?
A. Any and all products with the Stamp contain at least half a serving (8 grams, also written as 8g) of whole grain ingredients. The amount of whole grain in a product is stated on all Whole Grain Stamps in Phase II of the Stamp program, since June 2006.
Until manufacturers use up their existing package and make the switch, you may still see products using earlier Whole Grain Stamps. With these Phase I Stamps, “Excellent Source” and "100% Excellent Source" Stamps identify products that contain 16g (16 grams) or more of whole grain ingredients, and a “Good Source” Stamp identifies products containing at least 8g (8 grams) of whole grain ingredients.
With both the current Stamps and the earlier Stamps, the minimum level of whole grain content is 8g. The 8 gram minimum is based on the latest research on whole grains and health. Both government and academic scientists agree that people should aim for three servings a day of whole grains. A serving is defined as at least 16 grams of whole grain content. So all products bearing the Stamp offer at least half a serving (8 grams) of whole grains. Most offer a lot MORE, so look for the Stamp and enjoy your whole grains.
Click here to learn more about the US Dietary Guidelines and how much whole grain your body needs daily.
Q. I can’t easily picture things in grams. Can you help me visualize this?
A. Sixteen grams is just over half an ounce – about one and a half tablespoons of flour. So a small amount of whole grain can really make a big difference in health. Here are a few familiar products available today that supply about 16 grams of whole grain:
- 4 Triscuit® crackers
- 2/3 cup of Cheerios®
- 1/3 cup of Wheat Chex®
- 2/5 cup of cooked oatmeal
- one slice of whole grain bread
- 1/2 a whole-grain English muffin
- 1/3 cup cooked whole-wheat pasta
- 1/3 cup cooked brown rice, bulgur, barley or other cooked grain
Q. Is the Stamp just a U.S. Program?
A. No! Though the Stamp started in the U.S., it began to spread worldwide in early 2008, when it was introduced in Canada and in the UK, with additional interest from other countries. If you would like the Stamp to be used in your country, write to your favorite manufacturers and urge them to partner with the Whole Grains Council!
Q. When did the Whole Grain Stamp first appear on grocery shelves?
A. Some products appeared as early as February 2005, but consumers started to notice the Stamp on a wide variety of foods by late summer of 2005. Many Whole Grains Council member companies are phasing in the Stamp as they print new packaging and launch new marketing campaigns around whole grains and health. You can see a (long!) list of products using the Stamp here on our website.
Q. Can you tell me which products using the Stamp are available in my local supermarket?
A. Check our Whole Grain Finder, where you'll find a list of products using the Whole Grain Stamp. Not every product is in every store or in every country, but this should steer you in the right direction.
Q. If a product does NOT have the Whole Grain Stamp, could it still be a healthy whole grain product?
A. Yes, but it may be difficult to be sure. Many great whole grain products do not yet use the Whole Grain Stamp, in which case you'll have to look at the ingredient list to try to figure out how much whole grain is in the product. While the ingredient list will give some clues, it rarely identifies whole grain products clearly. Click here to learn more about reading labels.
Q. How can I learn more about the Whole Grain Stamps?
A. The Whole Grains Council is carrying out an ongoing PR campaign to familiarize Americans with the Stamp. In the year it was introduced, the Stamp appeared on the Today Show and on Oprah, and in over 200 newspaper and magazine articles across the country, including major-circulation publications such as Parade, Cooking Light, Prevention, Vogue and Time magazine. Read articles like these when you see them, and review other sections of this website to learn more about the Stamps. Our goal is to make the Whole Grain Stamp universally recognized by consumers across America.
If you have more questions about the Whole Grain Stamp or the Whole Grains Council, please contact Cynthia Harriman at 617-896-4820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.