The Wheat Foods Council continued its battle on fad diets when it met late last week in Phoenix, Ariz. Cindy Falk, nutrition educator for Kansas Wheat and the Wheat Foods Council vice chair, represented Kansas farmers and their need to combat anti-wheat messages.
A major addition to the 2014 Wheat Foods Council program will be a second “Wheat Safari” held in North Dakota to give insight to influential bloggers and health industry leaders. The “Wheat Safari,” set to be held in August, will arm influencers with the science and first-hand knowledge of how durum wheat is produced. The first “Wheat Safari” was held in Kansas in 2012.
“This is not the first time the Wheat Foods Council has had to set the record straight about grain foods,” said Falk. “Fad diets have been around for a long time, and they don’t seem to be going away. A question I often get is ‘What is the Wheat Foods Council doing to combat the anti-wheat messages being spread by consumer books, media, internet, and word of mouth?’”
In order to help spread its message, the Wheat Foods Council selected three advisory board members to promote the consumption of wheat foods. Julie Miller Jones, phD, CNS, LN, Professor Emeritus, Foods and Nutrition, St. Catherine University; Brett Carver, phD, wheat breeding and genetics professor at Oklahoma State University; and Glen Gaesser, PhD, professor and director of the Healthy Lifestyles Research Center at Arizona State University are the spokespersons who provide sound-science information on behalf of the Wheat Foods Council.
At the 2013 Food and Nutrition Convention and Expo, the Wheat Foods Council interacted with an audience of more than 8,500 key influencers in the dietetic and nutrition profession. Sara Olsen, a wheat farmer from Colorado, and Dr. Carver were the featured experts available to answer questions and educate attendees.
Dr. Miller Jones reached more than 2 million people this year when she conducted a media tour to combat fad diets and was interviewed across the U.S. on television and radio stations. Her message “Busting Fad Diets” provided counter messages to the anti-wheat claims in the wheat-free cookbooks on the market.
The Wheat Foods Council educational outreach includes a variety of professionals and consumers communicating the facts about gluten and low-carb diets. This was accomplished at many events throughout the past year, primarily through presentations and exhibits at three of the largest state dietetic association meetings in Texas, North Carolina and New York. Experts presented on behalf of the Wheat Foods Council on the truth about food intolerances and shopping for health.
“The Wheat Foods Council members support an ongoing pro-active force of pro-wheat messaging. We have a good story to tell and wheat farmers, millers, bakers, researchers, food professionals and others in the industry have to keep telling it,” Falk said. “Science is in our favor.”
Kansas wheat producers have had an active role in the Wheat Food Council since its formation in 1972. The council is an industry-wide partnership dedicated to increasing wheat and other grain foods consumption through nutrition information, education, research and promotional programs. The council is supported voluntarily by wheat producers, millers, and related industries.