WGC Monthly Newsletter
In This Issue
Sampling Day 2014
Good Grains Winner
Celiac & Gluten
Vegetarian Pyramid
Quick Links

An Oldways Family Program

Oldways is a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, inspiring good health 
through cultural food traditions and lifestyles.
October 2013

Dear Whole Grains Council members,

The fall conference season is in full swing. It was great to see representatives from many of our WGC member companies at the AACCI Annual Meeting in Albuquerque, where the WGC's Cynthia Harriman spoke on Consumer Trends in Whole Grains. Email us if you'd like a copy of the presentation. 

Oldways and the WGC also had a booth at the FNCE show in Houston, to make dietitians more familiar with our educational materials. This week we also participated in a whole grains webinar, in partnership with the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS). In short, we're doing what we do best: spreading the word about the benefits of whole grains.

Whole Gain Sampling Day April 2
Mark your calendars for April 2, 2014 - our next Whole Grain Sampling Day. What will your company be doing to show your creativity and commitment to whole grains? Will you be... sampling your products in supermarkets... running a sweepstakes on your Facebook page... launching a new whole grain product... offering discount coupons on your website?

As we have in past years, the WGC will be coordinating creative events across the country, creating a unified message that breaks through the clutter. Anything goes, as long as it reduces consumer barriers to trying more whole grain products.

Click here to download our Whole Grain Sampling Day Toolkit for food companies, full of ideas and inspiration. Or simply pick up the phone and contact Danita Boyce (617-896-4880) to brainstorm ideas for Sampling Day. We also invite you to visit our website to view a summary of some of the great events from WGSD 2013.


Reconstitution and the Whole Grain Stamp


We've been fielding some member questions about reconstitution, so we thought it might be helpful to explain the WGC's position about this approach. "Reconstitution" is the practice of buying bran, germ, and endosperm separately and combining them "at the mixing bowl" in a food factory. In theory, this can result in a whole grain flour that meets the FDA's definition of whole grain: all of the bran, germ, and endosperm in their original proportions.

In practice, however, there can be some challenges. Since all grains differ in their original proportions, and different mills may include different grain fractions in their bran or endosperm, it may be difficult for even the most conscientious companies to ensure they are achieving the original proportions. Nutritional analysis, with a comparison to standard whole grain flour, may be necessary.

Even so, one big hurdle remains: labeling. In a routine meeting initiated by the WGC in 2012, FDA stated that all ingredients purchased separately must be listed separately on the ingredients list. This would mean that the ingredient list of a product made with reconstituted whole wheat flour would read, "Wheat flour, [other ingredients], wheat bran, [other ingredients], wheat germ. As you might expect, we could not allow the Whole Grain Stamp to be used on such a product because it would cause consumer confusion if the Stamp were to appear on a product where there are no whole grain ingredients listed. Contact Cynthia Harriman ([email protected] or 617-896-4820) if you'd like any further information about the WGC's position on reconstitution. 

Thanks to "Good Grains" Donors / WGC Members
A big thanks to the 29 WGC companies who made our recent "Good Grains for a Good Cause" promotion such a success. Our winner, Snack in a Backpack, provides weekend "care packages" to kids who subsist largely on school meals during the week. This charity in the north Georgia mountains will certainly put to good use the cases and cases of whole grain foods donated by these generous members:   

Alpine Valley * Among Friends Baking Mixes * Back to Nature * Barbara's Bakery * Bob's Red Mill * Carl Brandt/ Mestemacher * Catallia Mexican Foods * Copak/Mother's Farms * Dr. Kracker * Freekehlicious * Frontier Soups * Hain/Arrowhead Mills * HomeFree * InHarvest * Kellogg's * KLN Family Brands * MagNoodles * Marion's Smart Delights * Mary's Gone Crackers * Open Road Snacks * Ozery Bakery * Pamela's Products * Popsalot * Rubschlager Baking * Severance/Pan de Oro * Silver Palate Kitchens * Upfront Foods * Vita Spelt/Purity *  Whole Foods Market.

As you know, we always list upcoming visibility / promotional opportunities here in our newsletter. That said, we know you're busy. If you want to make sure we notify you directly about upcoming promotions through the WGC, email Danita Boyce ([email protected]) and we'll put you on our VIP (very interested in promotions) direct-notification list.

Celiac Disease Conference
In late September, we attended the International Celiac Disease Symposium in Chicago. As we hoped, it turned out to be the perfect venue for gathering solid, scientific information to help the WGC educate people on the differences between celiac disease and gluten intolerance on the one hand, and popular food fads like the Paleo Diet on the other hand.

whole grain bread Nearly every day our Whole Grains Hotline gets consumer questions that show the level of misinformation out there. Here are two from this week: "What are whole wheat products and should we really avoid them cos [sic] they spike our blood sugar?" and "In articles and books there is advice against eating wheat. What grains are beneficial? Farro? Quenwa [sic]? Barley? Rolled oats?" Our thirty-six pages of notes from the celiac conference will help ensure that every bit of advice we dole out is up to date and accurate.

Are you facing some of these same questions? Feel free to link to our recent blog posts titled "Wheat - Don't Shoot the Messenger" and "What's Up with Gluten and Wheat?" You'll also find additional links on the topic of gluten on our Gluten Free Grains page. Also remember that one of the benefits of your WGC membership is the ability to use content from our site (with attribution) on your own website or social media. Contact Cynthia Harriman ([email protected]) for additional information about the ICDS conference or about using our web content.

Oldways Unveils New Vegetarian Pyramid
Oldways, the WGC's parent organization, recently released its newly updated Vegetarian & Vegan Diet Pyramid to encourage everyone to put more plants on their plates. Oldways, an expert in traditional diets for more than two decades, first introduced its original Vegetarian Pyramid in 1997. The new version was created with input from a world-renowned scientific committee that combed recent research to document the latest understanding of plant-power in the human diet.

According to a recent Harris Poll, nearly half of Americans (47%) eat at least some vegetarian meals. All of these people will benefit from the educational materials, resources and recipes from Oldways' newest program, the Oldways Vegetarian Network, which was launched in conjunction with the new Veg Pyramid. We salute Oldways' efforts -- especially since whole grains are such a key part of vegetarian and vegan diets!


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