The Good Food Expo 2019 was held last weekend in Chicago. It was the 15th year of this two-day event that creates community for those in the Midwest who have a true interest in healthy, nutritious food produced and consumed in the region.
Bright minds, ambitious food entrepreneurs, and season food industry professional gather to exchange ideas and thoughts on the direction of food production on both the local and national level.
Here is what I took away from the weekend in which I presented a half-hour overview of Culinary Medicine (which was the theme of the two day event). I am listing these bullet points in no particular order - just what I observed from a macro level.
> The concept of culinary medicine is picking up steam and gaining acceptance in the medical community. In the past, nutrition was not taught as part of the formal medical training process. That is beginning to change and several panels had board certified doctors who embraced food as a type of medicine in treating maladies such as depression, obesity, and gut health.
> The small family farmer who believes in producing food using organic methods still is fighting against Big Ag who has the resources to scale and produce food at quantities that are much cheaper than what a dedicated small farmer can offer. That means that consumers who believe in organic and local food have to put their money and purchases behind the small farmer by supporting Farmer's Markets, CSA programs, and small stores like ours (Green Grocer Chicago).
> Chicago is becoming a hub for food entrepreneurs and there are lots of good ideas floating around that include new snacks, tasty vegan products, and pasture raised meats that employ humane practices in their production while avoiding growth hormones and antibiotics.
> There are many young people taking an interest in food and how it is produced. That's a good thing because the foundations of the Slow Food movement were started by Boomers in the 60s who are now too old to carry the torch. Millenials and Gen Xers have to take up the cause and believe in the principles that food, sustainability, and health are all intertwined by leading an everyday lifestyle that integrates these principals.
Thanks for reading and I hope to see you at next year's Good Food Expo 2020!
It's a lot of fun and you'll meet many interesting people.
It will be great
to see how much progress is made in the movement in the coming year!