Whole Grains

Oldways Whole Grains Council

Oldways Whole Grains Council
The Whole Grains Council is a nonprofit consumer advocacy group working to increase consumption of whole grains for better health. The WGC’s many initiatives:

  • encourage manufacturers to create delicious whole grain products
  • help consumers to find whole grain foods and understand their health benefits
  • help the media to write accurate, compelling stories about whole grains

Mission and History

In April 2002 a group of concerned millers, manufacturers, scientists and chefs gathered in San Diego at a Whole Grains Summit organized by Oldways Preservation Trust. They decided to band together to promote increased consumption of whole grains.

The first formal meeting of the Whole Grains Council (WGC) took place in July of 2003, and outlined goals for the organization, including:

  • the clarification of the definition of “whole grain,” document the health benefits of whole grains, and advocate additional whole-grain health research.
  • the education of consumers about the benefits of whole grains
  • assisting Americans in the discovery of products using whole grains through the use of certified packaging symbols

Oldways certification stamps


What is Whole Grain?

A grain is considered to be a whole grain as long as all three original parts — the bran, germ, and endosperm — are still present in the same proportions as when the grain was growing in the fields.

THE BRAN: The bran is the multi-layered outer skin of the edible kernel. It contains important antioxidants, B vitamins, and fiber.

THE GERM: The germ is the embryo which has the potential to sprout into a new plant. It contains many B vitamins, some protein, minerals, and healthy fats.

THE ENDOSPERM: The endosperm is the germ’s food supply, which provides essential energy to the young plant so it can send roots down for water and nutrients, and send sprouts up for sunlight’s photosynthesizing power. The endosperm is by far the largest portion of the kernel. It contains starchy carbohydrates, proteins and small amounts of vitamins and minerals.