Josh Sosland
Genuine pride was evident in a Grain Foods Foundation presentation Oct. 27 during the annual meeting of the North American Millers’ Association. After all, a recent press release announcing the group’s latest research findings was highlighted in September on a Times Square Jumbotron featuring G.F.F. infographics. Christine Cochran, the group’s executive director, emphasized the cumulative gains the industry is beginning to enjoy thanks to several years of sorely-needed research on the healthfulness of grains. The latest addition to the scientific literature deals with the need to make sandwiches healthier based on what goes between the bread slices (rather than eliminating bread).

Discussed almost as an afterthought by Yanni Papanikolaou, who has conducted the G.F.F. research, was a very different G.F.F. initiative. Mr. Papanikolaou is seeking influential figures in the nutrition community to convene a panel tasked with drafting a consensus statement about the healthfulness of grains. The effort will put on paper, based on an examination of the scientific literature, areas of agreement with regard to the nutrition of grains, and where gaps exist in the data.

It is hoped the consensus statement will serve as a valuable mile marker, helping create an important tool for industry advocates and for presenting the grain-based foods case to the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. The document also will help guide future research to ultimately make the case for grain-based foods stronger than ever.