WHAT ABOUT WHEAT?
BY ELLEN PRUDEN • PHOTO COURTESY OF CEREALS CANADA
The newly launched What about Wheat? campaign is intended to promote the nutritional benefits of wheat and the positive practices employed by the farmers who grow it. Partners in the value chain-led initiative include Cereals Canada, the Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC), Saskatchewan Wheat Development Commission, Manitoba Crop Alliance, Grain Farmers of Ontario and the Canadian National Millers Association with support from Synthesis Agri-Food Network.
A three-year initiative aimed at consumers in Canada and abroad, What about Wheat? kicked off on Feb. 22, Canada’s Agriculture Day.
“International customers seek out the quality of Canadian wheat in their end-products,” said Todd Hames, Cereals Canada chair and former AWC chair. “It’s our commitment to Canadians that we share information about the high quality of Canadian wheat and What about Wheat? is doing just that.”
“What about Wheat? is taking a very strategic approach and developing a strong foundation along with being complementary to existing campaigns like the AWC’s Life’s Simple Ingredient and Grain Farmers of Ontario’s Good in Every Grain,” said Elaine Sopiwnyk, Cereals Canada vice-president of technical services.
While the What About Wheat? campaign will engage Canadians through social media channels and additional programming such as dietitian-focused webinars and nutrition fact sheets, it will also promote the benefits of Canadian wheat abroad. This will include through the creation of webinars in collaboration with Latin American governments.
In 2021, the program’s first year featured kick-off activities that included the formation of its steering committee. The group developed objectives that include the long-term goal of an increase in Canadian wheat and flour consumption in Canada.
Year two activities have so far included the February launch of the What about Wheat? website.
Wheat-positive food communicators such as dietitians will share information about wheat as part of a healthy diet. Science-based technical content will be made available on the program’s website, as will easy-to-share information about the importance and benefits of wholegrain dietary fibre in the promotion of gut health. Additional information on enrichment and fortification of all-purpose flour will also be included. The website will also share the Canadian wheat story, which will detail how the modern techniques and sustainability practices of Canadian farmers produce this nutritious and versatile crop.
“Looking ahead to year three activities, we will continue to build on this foundation, expand its communication reach outward and look to invite more members to join the initiative,” said Sopiwnyk. “We have such a good story to share and the research to support it.”
Follow What About Wheat? on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and learn more at whataboutwheat.ca.
DID YOU KNOW?
Two slices of whole wheat bread contain eight grams of protein. Add an egg, and you have 14 grams of protein as well as fibre, vitamins, minerals and fats.
Wheat is a good source of fibre. Whole wheat flour contains both soluble and insoluble fibre that make you feel fuller for longer. These fibres help your digestive system absorb nutrients while they also block the absorption of cholesterol and fats.
Wheat contains many key nutrients for healthy eating such as iron,
B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and calcium. Enriched wheat flour is also fortified with folic acid.
Gluten is comprised of proteins unique to wheat. Protein is an important nutrient for the growth and maintenance of cells, muscles and bones.
Ellen Pruden is Cereals Canada director of communication.