This week I was lucky enough to spend 3 days in London at ‘Food Matters Live’ the new annual cross-sector forum bringing together professionals from nutrition, health, government, food manufacturing, retail and food service.
The event endorsed by the Association for Nutrition as a CPD activity was buzzing with over 200 exhibitors, all with interesting stories to tell or new products to try. Some of the new products I sampled were:
- Cricket fudge – Containing protein rich edible insects available from EatGrub.co.uk
- Birch tree sap – This Eastern European sweet drink, is said to have an array of health benefits
- Natural colouring for food – Great idea, nothing artificial just fruit & veg
- Coconut water – All sorts of flavours and brands were on offer
- Baobab and moringa – Drinks and energy bars made from these African ‘super-ingredients’ – tasty
With over eighty seminars and a busy schedule of conference sessions I was in my element. Janet Street Porter and Michael Mosley were good value and Jay Raynor was over the top as ever!
I attended seminars on allergy and intolerance, nano-technology, packaging, health and wellbeing and conference sessions on tackling childhood obesity and the future of nutrition in a resource constrained world and the role of media in marketing.
Getting to ask a panel of experts a question linked to my dissertation was my personal highlight.
“Do you think people have a good level of knowledge of the link between diet and disease across the socioeconomic gradient”
The panel said:
“they were not aware of any studies measuring this but there was evidence that people don’t make the link between diet and disease especially at the lower end of the socioeconomic gradient. In reality the panel thought people were concerned with meeting basic hunger needs rather than thinking about the consequences of what they are eating. As to whether people ever considered that the cheeseburger they were eating would cause heart disease or breast cancer for example – the panel thought not!’
I had a really great time and as a nutrition student the breadth of topics discussed were amazing. I thought getting everyone together at one event was a brilliant idea! Chatting with like-minded people, listening to the conference speakers and finding out about new developments in the food, nutrition and health arena over the 3 day period gave me a broader view of this dynamic industry – definitely time well spent.
I was only able to attend because of my Edge Hill Scholarship Award so will be eternally grateful.