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BOSTON -- In an effort to help make it easy for consumers to look for and purchase whole grain products, the Whole Grain Stamp will be introduced March 17 at the Natural Foods Expo West.
The Whole Grain Stamp has three versions, each featuring the same eye-catching black and gold design. The "Good Source" stamp will appear on foods containing a half serving of whole grains, while the "Excellent Source" moniker will appear on products offering a full serving of whole grains. The third level, "Excellent Source/100 Percent,"- is for foods with a full serving of whole grains and containing no refined grains.
The new whole grain stamps will be easy to spot, said Mike Orlando, chairman of the Whole Grains Council and head of Sunnyland Mills. "We're amazed at how quickly major national companies have adopted the program and redesigned their packaging to include the stamps."
The Whole Grains Council, which has been developing the Stamp program since 2003, made the graphics available to qualifying companies in late January, following release of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines. Less than two months later, the Stamp is beginning to appear on retail shelves.
The guidelines' new emphasis on whole grains made the depth of consumer confusion on this topic readily apparent. "We've seen dozens of media articles describing how to identify whole grains since the Dietary Guidelines' release," said K. Dun Gifford, president of Oldways Preservation Trust, the Boston food issues think tank that coordinates Whole Grains Council projects. "Our stamp program eliminates all that confusion, so that consumers can focus on the health and good taste of whole grains."
Great Harvest Bread Co. began rolling out the Whole Grain stamp in early February at its franchise bakeries across the country. Bob's Red Mill, Bruegger's Bagels, King Arthur Flour, Sunnyland Mills, Kashi, Lotus Foods, Arrowhead Mills and Roman Meal Bread all are following immediately, with many of these companies showing stamped products at Expo West in Anaheim, March 17-20.
A rollout schedule showing when specific companies will introduce the Whole Grain Stamp can be found at http://www.wholegrainscouncil.org/WholeGrainStamp.html.