This year’s Food and Nutrition Conference Expo was held in Philadelphia! FNCE is a huge annual conference for registered dietitians featuring an expo with food brands, info sessions galore, and lots of PR events.
I had a friend’s wedding the Sunday before so I was basically in town for 30 hours versus what’s usually at least a three day trip. Alas, it was wonderful to spend time with my fabulous dietitian friends as well as network with new-to-me RDs!
We started Monday morning with a meet up at a coffee shop alongside a bunch of awesome intuitive eating RDs.
There were tons of Simple Mills’ new soft baked snack bars to go around so I snagged a chocolate chunk one to tame the morning hunger beast since I knew it would be a minute til we had a real breakfast.
An hour or so later we headed to K’far for some epic kubaneh toasts! Anne and I shared the salt roasted beets one with egg, labneh, dill, mint and the smoked trout with egg, cucumber and labneh. They were incredible. One can’t have too much labneh, after all.
I couldn’t leave without chocolate babka and a salted tahini chocolate chip cookie. I freaking love a good treat.
I saved Jeff half a cookie but had to take care of the babka myself because…chocolate.
After breakfast we headed to a session called “Sowing the Seeds: An Analysis of Modern Wheat.” You know your girl is bound to go to the session on bread!
The speaker started from with a few questions for us, the first being whether or not GMO wheat is commercially available in US. Much to many people’s surprise, the answer is no!
Another fun fact: did you know wheat supplies 20% of the world’s protein intake?
It’s interesting to see a new market for locally milled grains gaining popularity. The speaker explained that a bottleneck exists in growing a robust local grain economy because there aren’t yet enough local mills.
We’re very used to being able to swap out one flour for another but the reality is that wheat and grains overall have very distinct properties. Einkorn is an ancient varietal of wheat that makes great crackers for example but isn’t good for baking like spelt is.
Most milling Infrastructure is set up for all purpose flour, which is a blend of different kinds of wheat. This poses a challenge for those who can tolerate certain varieties of wheat, like einkorn for example (the oldest species of wheat we eat today), better than another strain since they’re typically all milled together.
Upon learning that someone can’t eat bread, one assume gluten is the culprit but issues with wheat are far more complex than we realize. There are many other components of wheat that cause adverse reactions in sensitive individuals and it’s all very personalized. Ultimately not strand of wheat, even einkorn, is safe for those with Celiac.
Instead of reacting to proteins in the wheat for example, some people react to the fructans (a fiber) in wheat. Those who suffer from fructose malabsorption or IBS are sensitive to FODMAPS including fructans and typically follow an elimination diet to see what exactly sets them off.
We learned that wheat needs fructose to survive in the wild, and these fructans function as anti-freeze to protect the wheat plant. Einkorn has the highest amount of fructans so someone with fructose malabosption wouldn’t be able to tolerate einkorn as well as other strains with lower levels of fructans, like modern wheat for example.
What I found really interesting is that there is a ten time difference in modern wheat versus older varieties when it comes to wheat allergies.
We went to Michael Solomonov’s fast casual falafel joint, Goldie, for lunch. The combination of pickles, roasted beets, greens, toasty sunflower seeds, fresh mint, and plenty of tahini drizzled falafel made for an epic lunch.
After another stroll around the expo, we headed back to our AirBnB to pack for the airport.
Dinner was back at home on the couch with my favorite human and fiancé. I made my salmon burgers which we enjoyed on toasty whole grain buns with local pickles, oodles of Dijon, roasted broccoli, and sweet potato dries.
In book news, I can’t say enough about This is How It Always Is. I’m currently halfway through it on Audible and I’m drinking it up like it’s the last of summer’s finest lemonade.
It’s heartwarming, modern, wonderfully written, and just so real. You really feel like you’re living the characters lives with then. I can’t even imagine how much much it would speak to me if I had children.
Have a fabulous week!