In This Issue
Schools Don't Require 100% WG
Product Sampling Opportunities
Calculating Total Grains
Japanese Stamp
African Heritage Grains
Quick Links
An Oldways Family Program

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

Dear Whole Grains Council members,

We're writing this just before two of us -- Kelly and Cynthia -- set off for the Whole Grain Summit 2015 being held June 24-26 in Portland OR. If you'll be attending this conference too, please email Cynthia, so we can be sure to connect in Portland. For those of you who can't attend, we will of course offer a summary of the highlights when we return. A meeting of the whole grain clan is always an interesting and educational experience.

U.S. Schools Don't Require 100% Whole Grain!

There's a great deal of misinformation around the current U.S. school rules on Whole Grain Rich foods. We've seen several articles in the press (this one is typical) stating that "all grains served in schools must be whole grains." Last month, a distraught school food director called for our help because his local school food auditor told him his pizza crusts must be made with 100% whole grain. 

This is not true. The rules currently require that all school foods be "whole grain rich" - which is defined as meaning 50% or more of the grain must be whole grain. So, that pizza crust could indeed be made with half whole wheat flour and half white flour. 

whole grain rich  

As explained in this excellent article by the Union of Concerned Scientists (and in their illustration, above), cutting back school rules to require only half of all grain foods to be whole grain rich would result in kids "making one-quarter of their grains whole" -- falling short of the Dietary Guidelines' call to "make at least half your grains whole." If you care about kids' health, support the current standard against efforts to roll it back. 

Product Sampling Opportunities
Whole Grains Giveaway School PTAs, universities, corporate wellness fairs and others contact us throughout the year asking if we can arrange for whole grain samples to be given away at their events. This could be a great way for your company to get its products in front of new customers, while also supporting a good cause.  

Here's how the WGC helps:
  • We maintain a master Sampling List of companies that may be interested in sampling opportunities.
  • When we get a request, we email all the companies on the list and describe the opportunity (audience, number of samples, contact info)
  • If the opportunity matches your marketing needs, you respond directly to the contact. If not - just hit delete, with no obligation!
  • We tell the organization that we've put the word out to our list (no names!), but we don't PROMISE anything -- and we don't give out your contact information.
As you can see, being on the WGC Sampling List doesn't obligate you to anything, but may open up interesting sales opportunities. If you'd like to be added to our Sampling List, contact Harley Songin ([email protected] or 617-896-4832). (In fact, we have a university looking for samples for an October event now!)


Harley's Tip: Total Grains vs Whole Grains


Harley Songin, who heads up our Whole Grain Stamp program, offers a monthly tip to smooth the process of product approvals. 

June Tip: Not sure what to include when calculating "total grains" and "whole grains" on our online Product Registration Form (PRF)? Check out our new PRF Help page on the WGC website. It clearly explains which grains qualify as whole, which grains are refined or enriched - and which ingredients aren't considered grains at all! And, while we're on the subject of the newly-added Total Grains field, please include the amount of Total Grains whenever you're updating a previously-approved product, as this is now a required field.

Contact Harley ([email protected] or 617-896-4832) with any questions about Stamp usage or membership. This is a good time to download a copy of our Stamp Usage Guide on this page, and remind all your staff of the rules of our program, to head off problems before they can occur.


Japanese Whole Grain Stamp Now Available
Japanese WG Stamp At the request of a U.S.-based WGC member marketing to Japan, we've recently created a Japanese version of the Whole Grain Stamp. If any of you are selling your products in Japan, please tell Harley. She can provide you with the appropriate Stamp graphics, and update your products so they will appear under Japan in our online product search. Remember, we can create graphics in any language you require.

Currently, Stamp graphics are available in the following options: US English, US English FSIS, International English, Canada (French/English), Spanish, Portuguese, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese and Arabic. You can see them all here.


African Heritage Program Launches in Philly
Whole grains traditionally enjoyed in Africa - such as millet, sorghum and teff - are emphasized in a six-class cooking curriculum called A Taste of African Heritage. Run by one of the WGC's sister programs at Oldways (our parent organization), the classes inspire African Americans to learn about the healthy, whole foods of their ancestors, and provide an opportunity for them to cook and taste those foods.

After two years of offering on-demand classes in more than 100 communities across the nation, Oldways this month launched an intensive immersion program in the city of Philadelphia  where classes will be offered regularly by five community organizations. If you're curious to sample whole grains with an African twist, check out our recipes for Jollof Rice (pictured here) or Millet with Cauliflower and Mushrooms or Maple Walnut Teff Porridge.


Best regards,

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

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

Harley Songin
Stamp Program Manager
[email protected]

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