Another Whole Grains Month has ended, but the whole grains momentum is still going strong.  This morning I turned my calendar page from September to October, and that means this year’s Whole Grains Challenge is officially underway!

That’s right, the online entry form for our third annual foodservice competition is now open!  From now until Friday November 6, our online entry form is officially open and ready to accept entries in this year’s Challenge.

So exciting!  I can’t wait to read about all about the various whole grain offerings appearing on menus throughout the month of October, or to read about the various promotional efforts dining establishments may undertake as part of their Challenge endeavor.  Being a part of the WGC during the Whole Grains Challenge is, in a small way, similar to being a kid around the holidays.  Instead of wondering who gets the biggest present, or admiring the prettiest wrapping job, we wonder who will wow us this year and where our winning entries will come from.  Which of the thousands of healthcare locations across the nation will win the Healthcare category?  Who will win in the Other category, the perennial “wild card,” or what about College / University?  Okay, so maybe it’s less like presents at the holidays and more like the Oscars or the Golden Globes – only with medals and amazing whole grain prizes instead of clunky statues.

Of course, the consumer side of me is excited too.  Which of my favorite quick serve restaurants will participate?  The next time I head out to dinner at a local family or fine dining restaurant, will they be promoting whole grains as part of their entry in this year’s Challenge?  What about the schools in my area, or the schools attended by my friend’s children?   I’m traveling to Denver this month to attend the American Dietetic Association’s annual gathering – will my hotel be one of the many entrants in the Lodging / Catering category?

Who knows!  Stay tuned, visit our main Challenge page to learn all about this special program, and if you’re a foodservice outlet offering at least one serving of whole grains every day during the month of October, enter the Challenge today, or any day from now until Friday, November 6.  We’ll announce our 2009 winners in late November — maybe you’ll be one of them!  (Kara)

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