It’s now more than four years since the 2005 Dietary Guidelines asked all of us to make at least half our grains whole – and it’s a good time to review the environment in which consumers make their decisions on what to eat. Are whole grains portrayed as the norm in magazines? in supermarkets? in restaurants? Has consumption increased since 2005?

Our 2009 conference set out to examine the “food environment” to see just which segments are measuring up to the challenge of making at least half our grains whole. The presentations and conference book materials from the conference document our findings and paint a vivid picture of the encouraging progress we’ve made with whole grains, while documenting that we still have more work to do in increasing whole grain consumption.

Tour Conference Highlights

You can take a virtual tour of conference highlights below:

1. Conference Summary (436K PDF)
A five page “Cliff Notes” summary of the conference, focusing on key data and outcomes, with references to our Program Book and Speaker Presentations for more detail on each point. A great way to get the overview if you couldn’t attend – and a great way to organize what you learned, if you did.

2. Full Program of Speakers and Sessions (including downloadable presentations)

3. Conference Press Release (204K PDF)

4. View Whole Grain Cooking Demos on YouTube

5. Reference materials from the Conference Binder

Speakers’ Bios and Abstracts (Section 2, 17pgs, 252K PDF)

Are We There Yet? (Section 3, 19pgs, 836K PDF)
• Whole Grain Consumption Data, 1998 to 2009, from NPD Group
• Media: A survey of whole grains coverage in 10 magazines
• Supermarkets: A survey of whole and refined grain SKUs on supermarket shelves
• Restaurants: Who’s serving at least one whole grain choice daily?
• The Whole Grain Yardstick awards

Promoting Whole Grains (Section 4, 18pgs, 1.5M PDF)
• Hot Topics Fact Sheets from the conference – full of quotes and statistics
—Gluten Free and Rich in Whole Grains
—On the Menu: Whole Grains in Restaurants and Foodservice
—Comfort Food: Whole Grains Made Easy
—School Meals at a Glance
—What’s Inside: Better Ingredients, Better Whole Grain Foods
• What consumers still don’t understand about whole grains
• Four approaches to social media
• King Arthur Flour LifeSkills Baking Program
• Denmark’s Whole Grain Campaign
• 2008 Whole Grains Challenge Winners

Schools and Whole Grains (Section 5, 22pgs, 3M PDF)
• The Whole Grains Council School Food Survey
• Low cost, no cost ideas for Better School Lunches
• The HealthierUS School Challenge
—Overview of HUSSC
—Criteria for awards, including whole grain criteria
—USDA whole grain fact sheet

Standards and Definitions (Section 6, 24pgs, 2.9M PDF)
• A quick quiz on government standards
• Comparison table of different whole grain standards
• Details on each government standard
• Characteristics of a Fair Standard for whole grain foods
• A guide to worldwide dietary guidelines for whole grain foods
• Summary of WGC’s recent compilation of whole grain health research

The Whole Grains Council (Section 7, 11pgs, 1.5M PDF)
• The WGC’s mission and history
• Creative, Effective Programs Excite Interest in Whole Grains
—Helping consumers find and understand whole grains
—Helping manufacturers and foodservice create delicious products
—Helping the media write accurate and compelling stories
• All about the Whole Grain Stamp

Email Cynthia Harriman or call 617-896-4820 with any questions.

Thanks to our Sponsors

The following companies were sponsors of the Make (at least!) Half Your Grains Whole conference. Our thanks for their support. If you’d like to know more about these companies, click on the names to visit their websites:

Event Sponsor

King Arthur Flour

Benefactor Sponsors

Barilla America

Bimbo Bakeries USA / George Weston

Bob’s Red Mill

Cargill/Horizon Milling

Chartwells School Dining Services

ConAgra Mills


General Mills

Harvest Time Bread

Indian Harvest Specialtifoods


Mars Food USA (Uncle Ben’s, World of Grains, Seeds of Change)

McKee Foods / Sunbelt

Roman Meal Company

Snyder’s of Hanover

Sunnyland Mills

United Sorghum Checkoff Board


Dr. Kracker

Kitchen Resource

Mestemacher Bread

Nature’s Path

Rubschlager Baking Corporation

USA Rice Federation