In the early 1970s, wheat foods came under attack for containing a high portion of carbohydrates, which many consumers believed made foods fattening. In May 1972, the wheat commissions from Kansas, Texas, Colorado, South Dakota and Nebraska met to coordinate a response from wheat farmers. The result was the establishment of the Wheat Foods Council (WFC), which celebrated its 50th-anniversary in June.
Today, the WFC uniquely remains an organization whose membership encompasses the entire wheat foods value chain. Kansas Wheat is a member, along with grain producers, millers, baking suppliers, life science companies and cereal manufacturers. Together, the WFC stays true to its original mission — to help increase the awareness of dietary grains as an essential component of a healthful diet.
To do so, the Council develops sound nutritional, educational and promotional programs that reach health and nutrition professionals, opinion leaders, media and consumers. The organization works with a wide swath of key audiences, including health and nutrition professionals, educators, supermarket and retail dietitians, health-conscious consumers, media, chefs and cooks and personal trainers.
WFC members gathered at the organization’s summer meeting in Charleston, South Carolina, to celebrate the anniversary, elect new officers and set priorities for the upcoming year. The new officers were seated for WFC’s 2022/2023 fiscal year: Kent Juliot, Ardent Mills, Chair; Ron Suppes, Kansas Wheat Commission, Vice Chair, Mark Hotze, Corbion, Treasurer/Secretary and Darby Campsey, Texas Wheat Producers, Immediate Past Chair.
The board also reviewed the WFC’s programs from the prior fiscal year, including:
· Educating personal trainers, whose advice reaches and influences more than 30 million consumers each week. In April 2020 when COVID-19 shut-down in-person activities and events, the WFC began creating short educational videos and sharing them through social media. By June 2022 the videos had more than 18 million views.
· Conducting a chef workshop focused on the plant-forward food trend at the Culinary Institute of America in April 2022, giving menu development chefs a hands-on demonstration of how wheat foods fit into this trend.
· Organizing the Future of Food Forum in conjunction with the chef workshop, which included speakers addressing plant-forward foods, sustainability, managing supply chains and innovation and collaboration. All of these topics were identified by menu development chefs as critical to the future of their companies.
The WFC plans to continue these efforts and more — as it has for the last five decades. Learn more about the WFC at https://www.wheatfoods.org/ — a robust website with community forums, webinars and interactive elements that provide a one-stop source for everything about wheat and grain foods nutrition from the latest news and research to interviews with leading experts on in-depth and trending topics, tips, informative links to government agencies and other relevant sites, recipes and more.
And what would a website devoted to wheat foods be without lots of recipes? Find recommendations and recipes for all types of meals ranging from Tomato Basil Pasta to Fruit Dessert Pizza and everything “grain” in between.