The Whole Grains Council is a program of nutrition nonprofit Oldways. It does consumer advocacy work, helping to increase consumption of whole grains for better health and working to increase the supply of whole grain foods. The WGC’s many initiatives

  • encourage manufacturers to create delicious whole grain products

  • help consumers to find whole grain foods and understand their health benefits

  • help the media to write accurate, compelling stories about whole grains

Our Mission and History

In April 2002 a group of concerned millers, manufacturers, scientists and chefs gathered in San Diego at a Whole Grains Summit organized by Oldways Preservation Trust. They decided to band together to promote increased consumption of whole grains, and, jointly with Oldways, developed and are carrying out a campaign to encourage others to join in this important effort.

The first formal meeting of the WGC took place July 15, 2003. At this meeting, participants outlined goals for the fledgling organization, and decided how the important work of the WGC would be funded. Nine industry members stepped forward as sponsors to achieve the following goals:

  • To clarify the definition of “whole grain,” document the health benefits of whole grains, and advocate additional whole-grain health research.

  • To educate consumers about the benefits of whole grains

  • To help Americans find whole grains, with a packaging symbol, and educate them on cooking whole grains

  • To promote whole grains through a positive message about their benefits, rather than by criticizing refined grains.

  • To serve as a conduit between science, industry and consumers.

  • To help grain-product companies, retailers and restaurants meet the needs of health-conscious consumers with appealing whole grain products.

Our Accomplishments to Date

Since that first meeting, the Whole Grains Council has

  • Grown from 9 members to roughly 350, including many industry leaders. View Member Directory.

  • Created an extensive website with information for consumers and the press.

  • Achieved scientific consensus on a widely-accepted definition of whole grains.

  • Managed a continuing campaign to educate the media and the public about the health benefits and delicious tastes of whole grains.  We participate in more than 200 stories every year in publications from the NY Times to Newsweek, and our work has appeared on Oprah (in the Stamp’s first year), Good Morning America and the Today Show, among others.

  • Launched the Whole Grain Stamp, creating a familiar packaging symbol that helps consumers select and buy whole grain products. As of January 2024, over 13,000 products used the Whole Grain Stamp in 64 different countries and seven languages.

See more details of our history and accomplishments here.