Four years ago, when we proposed the creation of Whole Grains Month, we had no idea that it would resonate so completely with so many people and organizations. Who would have thought that the world was just waiting for us to organize this month-long extravaganza?

This September is the fourth annual celebration of Whole Grains Month, and – just 9 days in – it’s a kick to see where observation of this event is turning up. We’ll admit Hallmark hasn’t come out with Happy Whole Grains Month greeting cards yet (that’s a hint for next year, Hallmark) but that’s about the only thing missing. Here’s a sampling:

Bloggers Galore

Bloggers are spreading the word virally, with more than a dozen piling on to date. For example, Emily, a high school teacher who blogs at Relishments, wrote enthusiastically, “I’m pretty sure they picked September as a month-long birthday present to me.” She went on to say our website inspired her to try cooking with our Grain of the Month each month. At Just the Right Byte, Jill Castle, an RD specializing in pediatric nutrition, shared a great selection of whole grain tips for kids, including our buckwheat fudgesicle recipe.  Lyssie and Tammy, RDs and sisters who write as The Nutrition Twins, introduced readers to the Whole Grain Stamp plus a lot of great information.

Health Groups Grab the Teachable Moment

Another group that is all over Whole Grains Month is health organizations. We’re pleased to see Mass General Hospital feature whole grains as part of a series on diabetes education this month, while Shape Up Sugar Land (in Sugar Land, TX) plugged the month too. (Wow. Imagine the uphill battle of being a health educator in a place called Sugar Land. Kudos to them.) Katie Dooley, an RD with IHA Cares, a group of health care providers in Michigan, blogged about the benefits of whole grains. However, our favorite in this category – at least so far – has to be Terrebone General Medical Center in Houma, LA. They went so far as to produce a ten-minute video about Whole Grains Month and the benefits of whole grains, largely created with information from our website. Good on you, TGMC.

Supermarkets Get in the Act

We like it best of all when supermarkets join the party, because that helps people think about whole grains at the most crucial time – while they’re shopping. Just a few of the many celebrations stores have reported to us or posted online:

  • Family Fresh Market in Wisconsin is handing customers a flyer touting our Whole Grains Stampede Sweepstakes throughout the month, and running an event called “Explore Whole Grains” which includes whole grain store tours.

  • Big Y Foods (58 stores in New England) put the Stampede in their newspaper circular, and included it in a TV spot on their local ABC affiliate.  

  • Harmons (14 stores in Utah) is offering three Whole Grain Workshops, with sampling of various grains.

  • Giant Eagle (more than 200 stores in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland) is carrying out a range of whole grain promotions and classes during September. “Lots of great things going on here at Giant Eagle with whole grains!” they told us.

  • The Whole Foods Market in Alexandria, VA is planning whole grain demos throughout the month.

Even the FDA is on Board!

All this good stuff is going on, and capping it off, plenty of solid government recognition making it official. Whole Grains Month got picked up almost immediately four years ago, on the U.S. government’s official list of health observances, and yesterday FDA promoted Whole Grains Month in a press release on the importance of kids eating healthy. And that graphic at the top of today’s blog? It’s a slide created by the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health and the department of Health and Human Services, to promote Whole Grains Month. Yeah, they borrowed our Whole Grains Stampede logo, but that’s okay – we like the way the Whole Grain Stamp looks so solid and official, sharing space with the new MyPlate logo.

Email us and tell us how you’re celebrating Whole Grains Month, and maybe we’ll feature you in a blog later this month! (Cynthia)

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