BOSTON, March 7, 2012 – Millions of Americans are going to see – and taste – a whole lot of delicious, healthy whole grains on Wednesday, April 4th. That’s the first ever National Whole Grain Sampling Day, organized by Boston-based non-profit Oldways and its Whole Grains Council (WGC).  On that day, consumers will find opportunities to try delicious whole grain foods everywhere they go: Supermarkets, foodservice outlets, restaurants, food companies and other organizations are joining the celebration and providing incentives to try whole grains, including free samples, coupons, and whole grain gifts with purchase.

“On National Whole Grain Sampling Day, you might be offered a taste of a new whole grain pretzel at the supermarket, try a delicious quinoa salad at your office cafeteria or get handed a free granola bar while walking to work,” said Cynthia Harriman, Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies for the Whole Grains Council and Oldways.  “We invite everyone to taste at least one new whole grain on April 4 or share one with their family at the dinner table.  Our goal, at the end of the day, is to have people everywhere saying, ‘That was great!  Whole grains, where have you been all my life?’ ”

Studies show that switching to whole grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases. While benefits are most pronounced for those consuming at least 3 servings daily, some studies show reduced risks from as little as one serving daily – so every whole grain in the diet helps.
Partners include Arby’s, McDonald’s, several supermarket chains, Indian Harvest, Cooking Light magazine and Compass Group, which plans to offer tastings in a variety of settings including corporate cafes, healthcare facilities, public and independent schools.

“Tastings are a great way to reduce the fear of the unknown that some customers have when trying a new food. We use this strategy often to introduce new healthful foods. We are excited to participate in the first Whole Grain Sampling Day,” said Deanne Brandstetter, MBA, RD, Vice President Nutrition and Wellness for Compass North America, which serves more than six million diners daily.

In Boston, home of Oldways and the Whole Grains Council, the organization is partnering with Boston Duck Tours to commandeer a “Duck Boat” on April 4th to hand out whole grain samples, “Just Ask for Whole Grains” buttons, and more, throughout the city.

Whole grain consumption is on the rise, due in large part to increased availability of a wide range of delicious and healthy grains for every palate. According to SPINS, a market research and consulting firm, sales of natural foods and beverages with the Whole Grain Stamp increased 9.9% over the last year.

Everyone is encouraged to join in the whole grain conversation on Twitter throughout the day by using the hashtag #SampleWholeGrains.

The Whole Grains Council is listing all participating activities and promotions on its website. To see all the organizations already committed, visit the Whole Grain Sampling Day page of the WGC website.

Please contact Rachel Greenstein ( or 617-896-4888) for more information, including hi-res graphics of the Whole Grain Sampling Day logo or for interviews with WGC and Oldways program managers.

About Oldways and the Whole Grains Council
Oldways ( is a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, with a mission to guide people to good health through heritage, using practical and positive programs grounded in science and tradition. The Whole Grains Council (WGC), an Oldways program, has been working since 2003 to increase consumption of whole grains for better health, and in 2005 introduced the Whole Grain Stamp, now used on 6,400 products in 33 countries. The WGC’s many initiatives help consumers to find whole grain foods and understand their health benefits; help manufacturers and restaurants to create delicious whole grain foods; and help the media to write accurate, compelling stories about whole grains. You can learn more about both at and