In This Issue
US Dietary Guidelines
WG Sampling Day Plans
Whole Grains, Long Life
Harley's February Tip
Quick Links
An Oldways Family Program

Oldways is a nonprofit food and nutrition education organization, inspiring good health 
through cultural food traditions and lifestyles.
February 2015

Dear Whole Grains Council members,

Our February newsletter is a bit later than usual, thanks to a short month and a long string of storms. February has been a challenge here at the WGC's Boston headquarters, where we were buried in more than 8 feet of snow in just three weeks. The show must go on -- and we've continued to serve our members along with the consumers and health professionals who count on us for advice, despite our Big White Shutdown. The bottom line: we're sure glad spring is officially less than a month away. (For fun, search for "photos of Boston snow" in Google Images...) 

U.S. Dietary Guidelines: Whole Grains Prominent


Make At Least Half Last week, a committee of the United States' top nutrition scientists made public their recommendations for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The Dietary Guidelines, which are expected to be finalized by the USDA and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) later this year, shape the foods that are encouraged in a number of government nutrition programs, from school lunch to military meals to food-related laws and regulations. While the USDA and HHS aren't required to abide by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee's recommendations, historically, the Dietary Guidelines have closely adhered to the DGAC report.

As in years past, the 2015 committee agreed that whole grains are a vital component of a healthy diet. Specifically, they found that whole grains "were identified in every conclusion with moderate to strong evidence" for decreased risk of disease. Thus, "the overall body of evidence examined by the 2015 DGAC identifies that a healthy dietary pattern is higher in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low- or non-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts; moderate in alcohol (among adults); lower in red and processed meat; and low in sugar-sweetened foods and drinks and refined grains." In short, the committee recommended going forward with the same message as in the 2010 guidelines -- to make at least half our grains whole. 


Check out the details in our blog.

What are YOU doing for WG Sampling Day April 1?
What is YOUR company doing for Whole Grain Sampling Day? Let the Whole Grains Council help spread the word about your products and your promotions!

We're now basically just a month away from April 1. While our list of official Whole Grain Sampling Day partners is growing daily, chances are we don't yet know what your company is planning. If you're doing anything to promote whole grains in the beginning of April, tell us -- abracadabra, we'll declare your promotion a Whole Grain Sampling Day event, and help you get extra attention for your efforts. It's that easy. We've created the framework -- and now you need to add your own special twist.

Click here to download a PDF with details and suggestions, or contact Kelly Toups ( or 617-896-4884) to brainstorm how your company and products can take advantage of the momentum created by Whole Grain Sampling Day.
Whole Grains for Long Life
Elder woman Eating more whole grains may help you live longer! Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed data from over 110,000 adults. The scientists found that every one-ounce serving of whole grains (from everyday foods such as breakfast cereal and breads) was associated with a 5% lower total risk of death, or a 9% lower risk of death from heart disease, although it wasn't significantly associated with cancer mortality. The researchers of this study conclude "these results are in line with recommendations that promote increased whole grain consumption to facilitate disease prevention." For a more in-depth look at this study, be sure to check out our post on the Oldways Table Blog.
Harley's Tip: Clearly Label All WG Ingredients
Every month Harley Songin, who heads up our Whole Grain Stamp program, highlights something important to know about the Stamp approval process. 

February Tip: As you know, we pledge to review all products submitted for Whole Grain Stamp use in 1-2 weeks. And we always meet that schedule -- when your Product Registration Form submission is complete the first time around. One thing that can potentially slow down our review process is unclear ingredients in your ingredient list.

Make sure to include the words "whole" or "whole grain" in your description of every whole grain ingredient. For example, say "whole grain sorghum" instead of just "sorghum" or "whole durum wheat" instead of "durum wheat." Not only does this speed up our review of your products, but it also gives your product extra credibility and value in consumers' eyes. If you leave those words off, they may be unsure of just what's in your product.

Remember, you can always download a copy of our Stamp Usage Guide here, or contact Harley ( or 617-896-4832) with any questions.
 This is a good time to remind all your staff of the rules of our program, to head off problems before they can occur.
Best regards,

Cynthia Harriman
Director of Food and Nutrition Strategies

Kelly Toups, MLA, RD, LDN
Program Manager

Harley Songin
Program Assistant

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