“Just Ask for Whole Grains”
Grassroots Consumer Campaign Launches Nationwide

Boston, March 5, 2007 – The Whole Grains Council and Oldways today announce a grassroots consumer campaign to encourage Americans to ask for whole grains everywhere they eat. The goal of the campaign is to convince America’s restaurant and foodservice operations to offer at least one whole grain choice on their menus.

This bold new program launches in March to coincide with National Nutrition Month. Events are being held around the country, with launch partners as diverse as Stanford University, an oil camp in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, Radisson Hotels, and the U.S. Navy all handing out “Just Ask for Whole Grains” buttons and information.

Whether they’re in McDonald’s or the Four Seasons, in the school cafeteria or an Army mess hall, a 7-Eleven or a highway mini-mart, consumers will be asking questions such as:

…“Can I get brown rice with this?”

…“Does that sandwich come in a whole wheat wrap?”

…“Is there any whole grain toast with the breakfast special?”

…“Do you have any whole grain bagels?”

“If consumers ‘Just Ask,’ ” explained WGC Chairman Jeff Dahlberg, “they will either be pleasantly surprised to get what they want – or will, at the least, succeed in reminding food-sellers to consider adding whole grain choices. This is all about choice.”

Consumers wanting to join the “Just Ask” campaign can visit www.WholeGrainsCouncil.org to:

  • Report their whole grain “finds”

  • Print out Whole Grain Report Cards to leave behind at local restaurants

  • Enter themselves – and their favorite eatery – for monthly prize drawings.

The Whole Grains Council website also offers other resources for consumers and restaurants, including a list of restaurants serving whole grains, a Whole Grain Product Finder, and support materials to help foodservice operations introduce and increase whole grain options.

Oldways President K. Dun Gifford praised the 150 members of the Whole Grains Council and said, “This program is a win-win for everyone, and especially for our young people, who will grow up healthier by eating whole grain products every day.”

More than one-fifth of the meals Americans eat are purchased in restaurants and other foodservice venues. Restaurants account for 82% of these meals, while the rest are eaten in places like schools, military facilities, office buildings, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, and day care centers. The “Just Ask for Whole Grains” campaign is designed to demonstrate the strong consumer demand for whole grain foods, and to persuade manufacturers, restaur-ateurs, and food service companies to help Americans reach the nation’s consumer nutrition goal: “make half your grains whole.”

The Whole Grains Council was founded in 2003 by Oldways, the Boston-based food issues think tank known for translating the science of nutrition into effective programs to encourage healthier eating. For more information, contact Courtney Davis, Media Manager for Oldways and the Whole Grains Council, at 617-896-4888 (Courtney@oldwayspt.org).