As we look forward to the future, we’re excited to continue working to change the way people eat—inspiring others to embrace healthy foods and cultural food traditions from the old ways. Thank you to the many people who have joined with us to make a difference around the world!

Oldways: An Organization Challenging Conventional Wisdom – 1990 to 1997

K. Dun Gifford founds Oldways to preserve traditional foods and foodways, and to promote healthy eating and drinking.

Development of a series of beloved, ground-breaking Oldways overseas symposiums for journalists, chefs, scientists and food retailers, focusing on the connection of food and culture and the scientific validity of traditional diets.

Introduction of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, with the Harvard School of Public Health, featuring olive oil as the principal fat, inclusion of moderate wine drinking, and recognition of the difference between plant and animal protein— radical ideas at the time.

Founding of the Chefs Collaborative, focusing on sustainability, local and seasonal food, and bringing chefs together to advocate for change—also radical ideas at the time.

Scientific “de-demonization” of healthy fats—olive oil, avocados, tree nuts and peanuts—in a world obsessed by low-fat diets.

1995, 1996, and 1997
Creation and introduction of a larger series of scientifically based cultural models for healthy eating: Asian Diet Pyramid (1995), Latin American Diet Pyramid (1996), and Vegetarian Diet Pyramid (1997).

Creation of the scientifically- and culturally-based Sensible Wine Drinking Guidelines.

Oldways: An Organization Ahead of the Curve – 1998 to 2004

1998 and 2000
Development of Scientific Consensus Statements on Moderate Fat Diets, helping to change government policy from recommendations of low-fat to moderate-fat.

Organization of the Cheese of Choice Coalition—focusing on consumers’ right to choose raw-milk cheese and the protection of the aging rules for traditional cheeses made from unpasteurized milk.

Development and organization of Continuing Education Programs in Nutrition for Physicians with the Harvard School of Public Health— the first CME course to bring together nutrition, culture, and cooking.

Creation of the Antioxidant Initiative, a program to bring attention to the power of foods and drinks with high levels of antioxidants.

Development of the Water Farming Initiative, a program to push for environmentally sound aquaculture.



Founding of the Whole Grains Council, an Oldways program helping consumers find whole grains and understand their health benefits; and working with manufacturers to create delicious whole grain products—accelerating the shift from refined to whole grains.

Development of a Scientific Consensus Statement on Healthy Pasta Meals and a campaign to fight back against extreme low-carb diets.

Oldways: An Organization Breaking Down Barriers – 2005 to 2015

Introduction of the Whole Grain Stamp, a packaging symbol that helps shoppers worldwide quickly and easily find real whole grain foods.

Creation of the Oldways Culinaria Program—extraordinary culinary tours, planned with the firm belief that the heart of any culture can be illuminated by exploring its food, wine, and culinary traditions.

2005 and 2006
Organization of coalitions to promote the traditional diets of the Mediterranean and Latin America (Mediterranean Foods Alliance and Latino Nutrition Coalition).

Oldways Table cover

Organization of the first conference on the health benefits of Resistant Starch—a newly-recognized type of dietary fiber.

Publication of our first book, The Oldways Table: Essays and Recipes from the Food Issues Think Tank.

Celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid, Oldways brought together a scientific committee to update the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid. The scientists added herbs and spices for the first time, and made fish and seafood more prominent.

Whole Grains Month (September) created as a special annual event to promote whole grains.

Creation of National Mediterranean Diet Month, an annual celebration created to highlight the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet throughout the month of May.

Development of the African Heritage Diet Pyramid, an eating pattern based on the healthy culinary traditions of the African Diaspora, and development of an accompanying education program for African Americans to claim health by using heritage as a guide.

2011 and 2012 
Creation of two programs, ONE and the Supermarket Dietitian Symposium, focusing on supermarket dietitians, helping them do their jobs better, and making connections between the registered dietitians and companies that sell food and beverages.

Development of a six-lesson cooking curriculum for African Americans, called A Taste of African Heritage. The curriculum was introduced coast-to-coast, with qualitative and quantitative measurements of results.

Publication of our second book, The Oldways 4-Week Mediterranean Diet Menu Plan.

Co-organization of the development of a Scientific Consensus Statement on Glycemic Index, Glycemic Load, and Glycemic Response—and the importance of high-quality carbohydrates.

Scientific update and introduction of the Vegetarian Diet Pyramid by a scientific committee that included, for the first time, a vegan diet option.

OCC logo

Relaunch of the Cheese of Choice Coalition.

Whole Grain Stamp appears on 10,000 products in 42 countries.

Publication of our third book, The Oldways 4-Week Vegetarian & Vegan Diet Menu Plan.

A Taste of African Heritage cooking and nutrition program brings about positive improvements in weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure while inspiring more vegetable consumption.

Oldways: An Organization Making Connections – 2015 to the Present

1st Raw Milk Cheese Appreciation Day organized by Oldways Cheese Coalition on April 18.

A Taste of African Heritage cooking and nutrition community program launched in Philadelphia and through NHP, a national community housing nonprofit.

Oldways Supermarket RD Symposium had its fifth edition in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Train the Trainer program launched in Philadelphia for A Taste of African Heritage.

1st Taste Cheese Live online event held September 27.

12 Ways To Use Vegetables

Two Oldways Culinarias: Emilia Romagna in May, and Greece in November.

New 50% Whole Grain Stamp was introduced for products where at least 50% of the grain is whole grain.

Publication of our newest book, 12 Ways to Use Vegetables.

Two Oldways Culinarias: Liguria and Menton in March, and Andalusia, Spain in November. Whole Grains Month (September) introduced Good Grains for a Good Cause to nominate a favorite charity to win whole grain products.

US News & World Report names the Mediterranean Diet the #1 Best Overall Diet.

A Taste of African Heritage is approved into SNAP Ed Library.

The eighth and final Supermarket RD Symposium was took place in San Diego (March).

Whole Grain Stamp appears on more than 12,000 products in 60 countries.

Launch of A Children’s Taste of African Heritage, a 7-week cooking and nutrition curriculum for children aged 8-12.

Publication of our newest book, Whole Grains Around the World.

Launch of new 6-week cooking and nutrition curriculum, A Taste of Latin American Heritage

Released the new Asian Diet Pyramid with refreshed information and beautiful color illustrations to match the style of our other heritage Pyramids.

Three Oldways Culinarias were added to our growing list: Sicily with David and Catherine Katz (April), Northern Italy Cheese Culinaria with Cathy Strange (May) and Crete with Ana Sortun and Aglaia Kremezi (October).

Introduction of a new Oldways brand identity to highlight our commitment to cultural food traditions and our role as a resource for nutrition inspiration and information. 

Oldways’ books and printed materials are redesigned and given a fresh look. Make Every Day Mediterranean is republished with a new design and the inclusion of new recipes. 

Oldways hosts Culinarias in the Veneto region of Italy with Chefs Kevin O’Donnell and Michael Lombardi, and in Cyprus with Chef Ana Sortun and Chef Cassie Piuma.

Oldways publishes Plant-Forward Plates, a ready-to-go PDF toolkit that gives hospital food service providers all the details they need to offer plant-based breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks in their facilities. Oldways is also a founding member in the Coalition for Plant-Based Foods in Hospitals

The Whole Grains Council, a founding member of the International Whole Grain Initiative in 2017, now chairs one of the five working groups (Communications and Partnerships) and sits on the governing board of the organization.

Oldways ramps up its free, online CPEU webinar program for dietitians. This ongoing series of hour-long webinars features expert speakers on whole grain and heritage diet nutrition topics.

Oldways hosts a series of online cultural cooking demo classes, in partnership with Age-Friendly Boston and Friends of the Armenian Heritage Park on the Greenway.

Oldways hosts Instagram Live interviews with food and nutrition experts.

Oldways joins TikTok, bringing short-form food and nutrition content to the app. 

The database of Whole Grain Stamped products hit 14,000 products available in 65 countries, a new record.

A Taste of African Heritage launches an e-course version of the curriculum, making this information accessible to anyone, anytime, anywhere in the world. 

Oldways expands its Mediterranean Food Alliance program to include social media and video-based benefits for members. 

Oldways continues their popular educational CPEU webinar series with 9 new events.

Oldways resumes its culinary travel program with spectacular tours to Turkey, Portugal, and Naples & Amalfi, while planning an exciting lineup of tours for 2023. 

A Taste of African Heritage is accepted into the USDA SNAP-Ed Toolkit.

Oldways launches a Substack newsletter, Always Hungry for Travel.

The Whole Grains Council team publishes a scientific article in Nutrients, which found steady growth in whole grain content and product availability in U.S. and Latin American markets over the past 10-15 years.

A peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior concluded that participants of A Taste of African Heritage experienced improvements in weight, systolic blood pressure, and waist size, as well as higher intake of fruit, vegetables, greens, and higher frequency of exercise.

Oldways launches its first two On-Demand Culinarias, customizable, private food experiences in Italy and Greece. 

Oldways hosts 12 educational webinars for CPEU credit for RDs.

Oldways creates a supplementary fitness component to A Taste of African Heritage, to allow the program to satisfy physical activity requirements for nutrition programming.

Oldways expands Latin American Heritage Advisory Board with experts in both nutrition research and culinary history.

The Whole Grains Council’s representative to the International Whole Grain Initiative’s governing board is made chair of the organization.

Oldways organizes four sold-out Culinarias, two of them in new locations – San Sebastian and Switzerland. 

The two Registered Dietitians on Oldways’ staff speak at a number of conferences around the country.  

Oldways hosts 7 educational webinars for CPEU credit for RDs and viewership continues to grow.  

Oldways celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid and the 20th anniversary of the Whole Grains Council.