In This Issue
Conference Videos!
Supermarket Sampling
1-2 Weeks for Stamp Approvals
The Gift of Health
Quick Links

An Oldways Family Program

Oldways is a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, inspiring good health 
through cultural food traditions and lifestyles.
December 2014

Dear Whole Grains Council members,

Warm wishes for the happiest of holidays from all of us at Oldways and the Whole Grains Council. We hope that 2014 is ending well for you, and that prospects are positive for 2015.

Conference Videos, PowerPoints Available Now


Good news: videos of speakers and panels from our Whole Grains: Breaking Barriers conference, held last month in Boston, are now available on the WGC website, along with PDFs of most PowerPoints. Copies of reference materials in our conference binder are also available on our site.

If you attended the conference, these files will let you relive your favorite sessions, check facts and sources you missed in  your notes, and share all this great information with colleagues in your company who were unable to attend.


For those of you who couldn't join us in Boston, these videos are the next best thing to being there - your golden opportunity to check out everything you missed. All of our speakers were amazing, but Dr. Alessio Fasano and Dr. David Katz were among those receiving the most raves in our post-conference feedback; you may want to start by viewing their talks. We bet after that you'll be hooked and want to see all of the videos! If you serve the schools market, our schools panel -- where two school RDs explain their challenges and triumphs -- is another must-see. 


Product Sampling at Supermarkets and Elsewhere
We're ramping up now for Whole Grain Sampling Day 2015, which will take place on April 1 (no fooling!). As always, this annual celebration provides plenty of opportunities for WGC members to get added visibility for their products. 

After you check out the basics of how Whole Grain Sampling Day (WGSD) works, here are two options to get you started:

*** We'll Help You Reach Supermarket RDs ***
Two sister programs of the WGC (the Oldways Nutrition Exchange and the Supermarket Dietitian Symposium) are in regular contact with the vast majority of supermarket dietitians in the U.S. 

If your company would like to offer samples to supermarkets for their WGSD promotions, contact Harley Songin ([email protected] or 617-896-4832) to learn more about our supermarket matchmaking service. While this matchmaking service can be very successful, we encourage you to have realistic expectations, as stores have widely different policies for sampling, and generally will only sample products already in inventory. That said, the benefits can be great, so it's worth a try. 

Several Supermarket RDs and health educators have already contacted us asking which products may be available for sampling, so don't delay in getting your name out to these markets with our help. Contact Harley today for details.

*** We'll Help You Plan Your Own WGSD Events ***
Just about any promotional activity can be part of Whole Grain Sampling Day, as long as it helps more people try more whole grain products. Do you have a product launch planned around this time? Say you're launching it to celebrate WGSD. Are you seeking a new "hook" for promoting your whole grain products on social media? Tie into WGSD. The sky's the limit, from local promotions near your HQ or plants (Shower a local school with whole grain products, or give samples out in a local park!) to nationwide sweepstakes and whole grain awareness campaigns. 

Download some ideas for food companies here, then contact Kelly Toups ([email protected] or 617-896-4884) to brainstorm what your company can do this year - and in every year going forward.

U.S. School Whole Grain Rules: "Exemptions" Allowed
During the past week, the U.S. Congress passed an omnibus spending bill that affects whole grain foods in schools. The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act had previously required all grain foods served in schools to be whole grain-rich, as of July 2014. (Whole grain-rich means that at least 50% of the grain is whole grain.)

The spending bill says that states can grant exemptions on the 100% whole grain-rich requirements, to schools that can demonstrate "hardship" including financial, procurement and student acceptability. These schools will be allowed to fall back to the previous requirement -- that at least half of all grain foods be whole grain-rich.

Our advice to food companies: Don't use this hiccup to reinstate your "old" refined-grain foods. Instead, concentrate on solving school districts' challenges, by making delicious and affordable whole grain foods. We owe it to our kids. Let's not throw them under the bus just because Congress says we can.
Infographics on the WGC Site
Are you looking for infographics about whole grains health and trends? We've started an infographic collection on our website, that may come in handy when you're doing your own media work.

Thanks to our partners, we've posted two infographics on whole grain trends and statistics (with SPINS) and one on how whole grains reduce the risk of cancer (with AICR).

Harley's Tip: Stamp Approvals Take 1-2 Weeks
We've added a new feature to our monthly member newsletter: a quick tip from Harley Songin, who heads up our Whole Grain Stamp program. Every month we'll highlight something important to know about the Stamp approval process.

December Tip: Plan your schedule to allow 1-2 weeks for us to review and approve your products. Our system "pings" us whenever you file a Product Registration Form (PRF), so there's no need to check whether we received it. Then, we email you directly (to the person listed on the PRF) with any followup questions and with our final approval. Although we try to be accommodating if you have unexpected deadlines, expedited service is the rare exception.
Please help us by allowing up to two weeks for approval.

Remember, you can always download a copy of our Stamp Usage Guide here, or contact Harley ([email protected] or 617-896-4832) with any questions.

Give the Gift of Health
If you're a passionate advocate of healthy food and want to give the gift of good health to family and friends this holiday season, check out two great books from Oldways, our parent organization.

The Oldways 4-Week Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan outlines the basics of the delicious, easy-to-follow Mediterranean Diet. Its tips and simple recipes can motivate anyone's best New Year's Resolutions. It's comprehensive, but its small format makes it friendly and approachable.

The Oldways 4-Week Vegetarian & Vegan Diet Menu Plan uses a similar format, while focusing on plant-based diets. Like our Med book, this one - of course - includes some great whole grain recipes. Oat Risotto anyone? Or how about Curried Red Quinoa and Peach Salad?

Both books can be purchased on the Oldways website or on Amazon.
Best regards,

Cynthia Harriman
Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies
[email protected]

Kelly Toups, MLA, RD, LDN
Program Manager
[email protected]

Harley Songin
Program Assistant
[email protected]

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