whole grains in Helsinki

I spent four days in Helsinki last week, at the invitation of the European Millers Association (GAM or Groupement des Associations Meunières). Delegates from almost all of the 27 EU member states convened there to discuss opportunities for millers, and of course my presentation focussed on the tremendous momentum and health benefits of whole grains.

Fortunately the conference proceedings were all in English, and most Helsinki citizens speak great English. I like to fit in and show respect for the local language, however, so I made sure to learn a few essential words. Rye – wonderfully ubiquitous at Finnish meals – is ruis, and whole grain is täysjyvä. The yellow box I’m holding in fact says täysjyväruis – whole grain rye. A quick scan of supermarket shelves and bakeries showed that whole grains are widely available and popular in Finland. (Cindy – June 15, 2008)

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