I am blogging to you from the 2019 Food and Nutrition Conference and Exhibition #FNCE2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
FNCE is the annual conference by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for their dietitian and associate members. The conference brings together vendors, clinical dietetic practitioners, researchers, hot topic speakers, government agencies, and many other health professionals to discuss the current topics of nutrition as well as to show new foods and trends in foodservice and grocery stores.
I have a few important highlights to share from this year's sessions and food exhibition.
The sustainable food system lecture on Sunday morning was very good. You can see the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics's new Future Food webpage to get a grasp on many topics as well as their outstanding resources. I think the one infographic that is so relevant to all food and nutrition professionals is the Feeding the World infographic.
The takeaway message from the sustainability panel session is to be informed about the issues facing the entire world and to do all that you can in your own job to be part of the effort.
Some attendees dubbed sustainability as saving the planet with your fork. And that is certainly an effective message and a good start. But the speakers from four universities brought up so many more issues. They emphasized that the professionals who become informed and take action in their own jobs will have an edge in their careers and will be an important part of the efforts to have a healthy food system for the future.
Some of the needs for a sustainable and healthful food system that were discussed included:
- reduce food waste - how can you make a difference by reducing waste in your facility. The idea of saving extra food is not as efficient as eliminating waste and composting garbage and using compostable packaging.
- agricultural diversity
- agricultural best practices to preserve and guard natural resources while optimizing yields
- healthy food and safe water for all, not just the wealthy
- optimizing agricultural, manufacturing, and supply chains with planet and nutrition; being more plant-based
I had a lot of fun touring the big expo of food vendors.
Here are a few pictures highlighting my observed trend of plant-based and sustainably made food products and messaging:
There was one big theme throughout almost all of the booths this year and it was "save the planet." Plant-based food rules! This is very different from previous years where "sugar-free, carb-free, fat-free, gluten-free, fiber, calcium, and many other fad diets and nutrition claims ruled the floor. Most foods featured this year are "natural", "organic", "from the family farm", and "plant-based." This year brought good feelings in observing all of the positive creations on the showroom floor!
I am bringing you my favorite observations after walking all of the aisles!
Check out plant-based Tuno:
The Have A Plant campaign by the Fruits and Veggies for Better Health:
Bada Bean snacks:
Snow Monkey dairy-free ice cream:
The Jack Fruit Company:
Cauliflower Pizza and fun messages to "Veg Out" or "Live Life on the Veg":
And so many more plant products and messages!
One really great advantage to the Philly Convention Center is the Reading Food Market that is filled with local food stalls and just across the street. I enjoyed a great plant-based lunch inspired by all of the foods that I saw in the expo.
I have enjoyed writing this year's report since I am an MPS student at the Culinary Institute of America and we are studying sustainability. It is great to see that the dietitians and many food vendors are taking part in helping our food future!
You can compare and contrast 2019 FNCE to the past two years to see the evolution of food manufacturing and marketing: