W.G.C. issues whole grains challenge

by Eric Schroeder
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BOSTON — The Whole Grains Council and Oldways Preservation Trust have teamed up to launch a new program designed to encourage restaurants and food service outlets to include more whole grain menu options.

Beginning May 1, any food outlet that offers at least one whole grain choice on the menu for 30 consecutive days during May, June and July will be eligible to enter the "Whole Grains Challenge." Awards will be presented in 10 different categories: quick service, fast casual/family, fine dining, lodging and catering, workplace, K-12 schools, college/university, health care, military and other. In addition, any participating food outlets will receive a free restaurant membership in the W.G.C. for the remainder of 2007.

"Our Whole Grain Stamp has been a big success on retail packaging," said Jeff Dahlberg, chairman of the W.G.C. "Now food outlets who are members of the W.G.C. are able to place a similar symbol on their menus. This is a great time to test-market new whole grain options."

Earlier this year the W.G.C. launched "Just Ask for Whole Grains," a grassroots consumer campaign designed to encourage consumers to ask for whole grain options when dining out."

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