WGC Monthly Newsletter
In This Issue
Hello, Danita!
Whole Grain Up 23%
Grain Brain Book
Grain Conferences
Booth 1726 at FNCE
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.
September 2013

Dear Whole Grains Council members,

September is Whole Grains Month once again, and we're pleased to report that this year's centerpiece project - Good Grains for a Good Cause - is going well. We've asked people to nominate their favorite food-related charity on the WGC website, and already we have nearly 400 entries from 98 organizations in 39 U.S. states. Some organizations have started viral campaigns to get multiple nominations, to increase their chances of winning.

At the beginning of October, we'll randomly select a winning charity, and send them cases upon cases of whole grain foods donated by you, our caring WGC members. Thanks so much for supporting this great project. Email Mallory Cushman if you haven't pledged a case of your company's food yet. There's still time to participate.

Welcome Danita Boyce
We'd like to introduce all of you to Danita Boyce, new Program Manager for the Whole Grains Council and Oldways. She succeeds Karen Mansur, who has left to open her own café. While Mallory will head up the Stamp Program, Danita will be busy creating projects, conferences and promotions for the Whole Grains Council -- in other words, running all that other great stuff we do besides the Whole Grain Stamp.

Danita's intriguingly eclectic experience - including a stint in advertising and marketing, a few years of hairstyling, the rigors of culinary school, cooking on a wood stove on a rocking passenger schooner in Maine, running her own private chef business, and working as a demo chef at Whole Foods - provides excellent background for coming up with unique and attention-getting ways to spread the word about whole grains.

Danita has a degree in Psychology and Business from Susquehanna University, and is currently completing her Masters of Public Health at Northeastern University. Call her at 617-896-4880 or email danita@oldwayspt.org with your program ideas -- or just to say hello.


U.S. Whole Grain Consumption up 23%


The U.S. Department of Agriculture released new data this month showing whole grain consumption in the U.S. rose 23.4% in 2009-10 compared to 2007-08. That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that this jump still leaves Americans way short of the recommended levels of whole grain intake: we're eating, on average, just 0.79 servings per person per day.

Whole grain consumption would need to increase almost four-fold to reach the 3 or more servings stipulated in the Dietary Guidelines, so we all have plenty of work left to do. Still, some age / gender groups are doing better than others. Check out our recent blog for an overview and brief analysis of the consumption data, or visit USDA's website to access the data directly. 

Grain Brain Book Misleading, Sensationalist
A controversial new book called Grain Brain, by David Perlmutter, was released this week. As you might guess from the title, the book claims that grains undermine the health of our brains. Perlmutter starts with the true observation that gluten intolerance can affect other systems in the body -- not just the digestive tract. He then jumps off the deep end, though, extending the very real problems of those with gluten intolerance to all grains, to virtually all carbohydrates, and to all people.

As always, Oldways and the Whole Grains Council see setting the science straight as an important part of our mission. We have taken the following actions to help media, consumers and health professionals sift the facts from the myths:
  • We secured an advance copy of the book, and studied it thoroughly.
  • We've posted a statement on the Whole Grains Council blog.
  • We've reached out to key media contacts (NPR, FoodNavigator, Shape, top RD blogs, etc.) offering counterpoint.
  • We've polled leading gluten / celiac scientists; those who responded refute Perlmutter's key points.
  • We will attend the International Celiac Disease Symposium in Chicago next week, for additional expert quotes and to ensure all our actions are grounded in the most current science.
These proactive moves are designed to inject some reason into the dialog that will inevitably result as this book gets better known. Please don't hesitate to contact Cynthia Harriman (cynthia@oldwayspt.org or 617-896-4820) if you would like any additional information about Grain Brain.

Grain Conferences: AACCI and More
We'd like to share information on three grain conferences coming up soon:

Albuquerque, NM. Cynthia Harriman, WGC Director of Food & Nutrition Strategies, will be speaking on Consumer Trends in Whole Grains at the Annual Meeting of AACC International (formerly American Association of Cereal Chemists) September 29 - October 2 in Albuquerque, NM. If you're planning to be at the AACCI meeting, drop Cynthia an email (cynthia@oldwayspt.org) ahead of time or even during the conference, to set up a meeting. We always love to meet WGC members face to face.

The WGC maintains warm relationships with other whole grain organizations around the world. Since 49 of our 373 members are based outside of the US and many members operate in Asia and China, we're also including information about a pair of upcoming conferences from our international affiliates:

Beijing, China. The 2nd International Forum on Whole Grain Foods will take place October 19-20 at the China Hall of Science and Technology, No 3 Fuxing Rd, Haidian District, Beijing. Agenda includes whole grain standards and packaging symbols in China. Registration is RMB 2,300 (~US $400) and hotel is RMB 498 (~US $82). Details here.

Helsinki, Finland. Europe's HealthGrain Forum will hold its next member meeting November 5-7 at VTT in Espoo, Finland near Helsinki. Agenda includes nutrition, technology, communication and consumers. Information on HealthGrain membership and forum attendance is available from Marcella Gross (marcella.gross@icc.or.at).

Oldways at FNCE: Booth 1726
Speaking of conferences, Oldways and the Whole Grains Council will have a booth at FNCE (the Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo) October 19-22 in Houston. This conference, run by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, is our favorite opportunity to catch up with dietitians from around the country. These are the folks who multiply our efforts, promoting the Stamp and helping us immeasurably to spread the word about the health benefits of whole grains. Your WGC annual dues help make it possible for us to supply materials to dietitians and answer their questions -- so you'll be there in spirit with us, too.

If you or someone from your company will be attending FNCE, please stop by booth 1726 and say hello to the Oldways team. While you're already familiar with the WGC, you'll enjoy learning more about some of the other great programs under the Oldways umbrella.


Best regards,

Cynthia Harriman
Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies

Mallory Cushman
Stamp Program Manager

Danita Boyce
Program Manager

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