WGC Monthly Newsletter
In This Issue
Promote "Good Cause"
Regulatory Update
Annual WGC Tune-up
Oldways Google Grant
Quick Links



An Oldways Family Program

Oldways is a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, with a mission to guide people to good health through heritage.
August 2013

Dear Whole Grains Council members,

This month's member newsletter starts with good news: Danita Boyce will be joining the WGC team next week, to replace Karen Mansur who recently left to start her own takeaway caf´┐Ż. Danita brings a great mix of culinary, supermarket and nutrition experience to the job, as we'll detail in next month's newsletter after she's on board. 

Going forward, Mallory Cushman will serve as Stamp Program Manager, supporting our members in everything connected to usage and promotion of the Whole Grain Stamp, while Danita will be WGC Program Manager for everything else we do, such as our consumer hotline, national promotions, conferences and more (see below). 

Promote "Good Grains for a Good Cause" on your site
Show that you care about whole grains and about the hungry, by promoting the WGC's Good Grains for a Good Cause sweepstakes on your website, Facebook page, and Twitter account.

Even though there are still a few days left in August, our sweepstakes has gone live, so you can link to it now, in preparation for Whole Grains Month in September. (We already have scores of entries from 27 states!)

 

If you missed it previously, here's how it works: From August 15 to September 30, we're inviting people to nominate their favorite food charity, such as a food bank, food pantry or soup kitchen. At the end of September, we'll pick one qualifying charity at random, and send them cases upon cases of food donated by our generous WGC members. In the meantime, we'll be drumming up interest and momentum for sharing whole grains and other healthy food with those less fortunate than ourselves.

A big thanks to our supporting donor companies. Email Mallory Cushman if you would like to donate a case of your company's food and have your name added to the donors' list on our website today!

Here are the graphics and links you'll need, to promote Good Grains for a Good Cause on your social media: 

We'd love to see how you're featuring the Good Grains for a Good Cause sweepstakes. Send Mallory a link! Promoting this WGC sweepstakes will add more excitement to your website and social media pages, so join in now.

 

Regulatory Momentum on Whole Grain Labeling?
There's widespread recognition that the definition of a whole grain ingredient is basically "a grain with all its bran, germ and endosperm present in their original proportions." However, there are many competing thoughts (and regulations) about how to define a whole grain food. When is it appropriate to make a whole grain statement, such as "made with whole grain?" and when is it appropriate to use whole grain in a product's name, such as "whole grain biscuit" or "whole grain pasta?"

FDA published a non-binding draft guidance on whole grain labeling in February of 2006 that provided useful clarity on the definition of a whole grain ingredient, but was less specific on the definition of a whole grain food. FDA is currently seeking OMB approval to go forward with consumer research that will help the agency finalize their whole grain labeling guidance. Although final guidance is unlikely to happen immediately, we're updating you on some possibilities now, in case you want to factor them into your product development efforts.

Currently two main approaches seem to be in the running as a way of defining a whole grain food.
  1. 8 grams or more of whole grain per serving and at least half the grain is whole. This is the approach pioneered by USDA (FSIS) in October 2005, when they defined a whole grain food as one with 8g of whole grain per labeled serving and per RACC provided that at least 51% of the grain is whole grain. This approach is closely echoed in the new school food rules from USDA, where "Whole Grain Rich" foods are those in which at least half the grain is whole grain, or those in which the first ingredient is whole grain. (There are a few other twists, but this is the gist of whole grain rich.)  
  2.  8 grams of whole grain in every 30 grams of product. This is the "characterization" of a whole grain food from AACCI (formerly the American Association of Cereal Chemists), and is also included in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, which similarly suggest choosing foods with at least 8g of whole grain per "ounce equivalent" -- an amount of food that varies but is around 30 grams.
The Whole Grain Stamp also uses 8 grams as a minimum - with many products having much higher levels - so most foods using the Whole Grain Stamp would still qualify under either of these new definitions. Still, this could be a good time to assess your product portfolio and reflect on how either of these leading definitions might affect you, should either be adopted at some point. Contact Cynthia Harriman if you have questions.
 
Schedule Your Annual WGC "Tune-Up" Today
Many of you joined the Whole Grains Council simply to use the Whole Grain Stamp on qualifying products. The Stamp is wonderful, don't get us wrong -- but the WGC does so much more than this -- keep in mind that you can be involved in our promotions, sampling opportunities, and so much more.

Schedule a call now with Cynthia Harriman to review all the other marketing opportunities that are included in your membership, at no additional fee. At the same time, we can also give you a list of all your registered Stamp products, so you can check for any updates needed, and make sure that everyone on your team is receiving our monthly newsletter. We like active, involved members, so reach out today and learn more.

Oldways Gets Google Grant
Oldways, the WGC's parent organization, has just been awarded a Google Grant to help us spread the word about all of Oldways' educational programs, including the Whole Grains Council. Google Grants allow qualified nonprofit organizations up to $10,000 a month in free Google AdWords.

When we can find free and low-cost ways like this to promote our nutrition programs, it allows us to plow as much as possible of our budget back into active programming. Keep your eyes open for the occasional message from Oldways and the WGC, next time you do a Google search.
Best regards,

Cynthia Harriman
Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies

Mallory Cushman
Stamp Program Manager

... and from all of the Oldways and Whole Grains Council staff