The Fifth Annual Whole Grain Sampling Day is set for Wednesday, March 30. A delicious conclusion to National Nutrition Month, Whole Grain Sampling Day offers people a chance to savor the unique textures and flavors of whole grains. Restaurants, supermarkets, cafeterias, and even food trucks across the nation are planning a multitude of special promotions like serving low or no-cost whole grain items, special menu items and tastings, social media giveaways, and more.

Organized by the Oldways Whole Grains Council, a Boston-based nonprofit, last year’s celebration prompted millions of Americans to taste a whole lot of delicious, healthy whole grains and the momentum continues this year. 2016 partners planning events and promotions include Bob’s Red Mill, Boloco, Google, Harvard University, California Pizza Kitchen and many more.

“All it takes is one delicious taste to convince you to put more whole grains on your plate,” said Kelly Toups, RD, program director for the Oldways Whole Grains Council. “This year’s Whole Grain Sampling Day is slated to be bigger than ever thanks to powerful evidence showing whole grains have really gone mainstream, with many people preferring the fuller, nuttier flavor of whole grains.”

The WGC’s 2015 Whole Grains Consumer Insights Survey found that most of us eat more whole grains now than we did five years ago, with nearly two-thirds of Americans making at least half their grains whole. Popular magazines are helping consumers see whole grains as the new norm. Recently Toups and her team surveyed six issues each of 17 consumer magazines to compare the depiction of whole and refined grains in recipes, food photos, and articles. Six publications made at least half their grains whole, led by Prevention magazine, with 78% of its grains as whole grains. Other top performers included Health, Cooking Light, Shape, EatingWell, and Parents.

Studies show that switching to whole grains lowers the risk of many chronic diseases. While benefits are most pronounced for those consuming at least 3 servings daily, some studies show reduced risks from as little as one serving daily — so every whole grain helps. The easiest way to identify whole grains is to look for the Whole Grain Stamp, which guarantees a product has at least half a serving of whole grains. The Whole Grain Stamp now appears on 10,700 products in 54 countries, with Whole Grain stamped products now driving $9.9 billion in dollar volume. 

To take advantage of one of these special promotions and sampling events, visit the Whole Grain Sampling Day page for complete listing of activities and opportunities. Join in the whole grain conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #SampleWholeGrains.