Well, I missed my alarm, luckily woke up in time to run a brush through my hair and brush my teeth… out the door I went! After a 3 hour drive in a van full of 7 adults we made it to the food show in Rosemont, Illinois.
This is what it looked like (times 5 because I couldn’t get it all in the picture)
Tons of men (and women) in business clothes eating samples and talking to food reps. It was quite the experience. Each station you try a sample (if you choose to), speak to the rep and grab some materials (or they are shoved into your hands). This is what my bag looked like when I got home… And I held back quite a bit considering I don’t actually make the decisions at the hospital about foodservice.
Some interesting products I found were:
1. The Odwolla bar/ drinks. They were whole fruit juices (similar to Naked if you’re familiar to that)
2. Servewise- sustainable disposable eco-wise serving solution. Most serving dishes are Styrofoam or plastic and when I saw this shaved wood serving dish I was a very happy camper. Seeing all of the waste at the hospital, cafeterias and any kitchen really puts a damper on my day. And I’m sure the reason this product isn’t used is because of the cost. I heard someone say “but Styrofoam costs pennies per plate” THAT IS NOT TRUE. The cost of us killing our environment by using not sustainable products is much higher than cents per plate. Its the future of our world and our children’s world.. Right?!?
3. Recipes for flavoring your own water with lemon, herbs and well water! It’s a great natural way to flavor it without artificial sweeteners and other man made chemicals.
Some products I found outrageous:
1. Butter Buds- I’m sure they would taste nice and buttery from a foodservice standpoint but from a future dietitian’s standpoint I found the ingredients interesting: maltodextrin (derived from corn), butter flavor, dried butter, salt, guar gum, baking soda, turmeric, and annatto. I guess the plus side is the colorings used are not artificial. But the first 2 ingredients are chemically produced in a chemistry lab. Why would we put that in our bodies?
2. All of the booths that looked identical to me but they all had deep fried something, usually mozzarella sticks, shrimp, french fries and cheese curds.. hmm why is that the norm at food show?
3. All of the interesting combinations of foods such as a waffle sandwich: A deep fried chicken sandwich smooshed between two waffles with cheese on top. The vendor encouraged using syrup or canned fruit on top of the sandwich. That baby would knock me out till 2 pm if I ate it for breakfast!
All in all it was a good experience. I learned to take everything with a grain of salt. I had to turn off the dietitian mind and think from a food service standpoint. The purpose of food service is to provide meals your customers will enjoy. I just wish it were a little bit more normal for us to eat healthy food.
Enjoy your Thursday! It’s almost Easter weekend!