The Massachusetts Gluten Free and Allergy Friendly Expo is on a couple of weeks and guess what, we will be in attendance instagramming and snapchatting our way through the two days of samples and seminars! So what exactly are we looking forward to at the event?
Read our two-take below to find out 🙂 and follow our experiences during the expo live:
Instagram: @thatgutsygirlslife and @sugared.out.celiac (Rachel’s insta)
I love food fairs and expos. Events like this provide an opportunity to learn more about the latest trends, try new products, and spend time talking to others who have similar interests (and dietary concerns). I’ve seen many of the brands that are exhibitors at the Expos in the grocery store, and many of them have then ended up in my pantry (and stomach). Specifically at GFAF I am excited to see what new products Enjoy Life is sharing as I love their chocolate chips and religiously use them in all of my baking as they are free of all of Pranita and I’s allergens.
Being the person I am, I’ve also stalked the exhibitors list over and over again eagerly looking at all the different bakeries that are participating in this years expo. Despite trying to cut down on the amount of sweets I’m eating, I will never turn down a good allergy friendly cookie or baked good. I mean, if you follow my instagram you know I’ll travel to great lengths for a cookie, ice cream, or a combo of the two! There are also a variety of of brands attending the expo that I’ve tried once before and did not love. But, every brand deserves a second chance so I’m intrigued to see what I think of the products now.
Aside from the food vendors, several of the exhibitors are actually cookbooks! While most recipes today can be found online, there is something about holding the physical recipe in your hands and flipping the pages of cookbook that I love. Several of the authors at the event are also teaching seminars throughout the expo and I’m excited to learn from those who have already made an impact in the world of allergy friendly baking. I’m also excited to meet many of the seminar leaders simply based on the fact that they are experts in their fields. I’m eager to ask them some of the questions regarding lifestyle techniques for those of us with food allergies as well as ask those presenters that are physicians some the celiac medical questions that I’ve been racking up in my brain.
Finally, I’m excited to meet the other bloggers and attendees to learn more about other people’s experiences!
I’ve always been an avid snacker and love trying new foods! Growing up, the allergy-friendly range of foods were fairly limited to what was available in the local neighborhood grocery store that didn’t have the label “May Contain: Tree Nuts”. It’s exciting to see food manufacturing companies appeal to the allergy-friendly market and I cannot wait to delve into this world and explore. I am more of a rookie when it comes to many allergy-friendly products so I am really looking forward to utilizing this sort of platform to connect with food brands on an intimate level. With more and more brands and companies emerging in the gluten free and allergy friendly space, I want to serve as a personal guinea pig reviewer of these products. My entire life revolves around reviews – every purchase decision I make (from food to makeup to electronics) is determined by either oral reviews or online reviews. I feel that it is now my rightful time to contribute back to the reviewer community and offer a glimpse into this spectacular world of gluten free and allergy friendly products.
I think one of the biggest stigma factors associated with allergy-friendly brands or products catered to certain dietary restrictions is that the taste component is somehow sacrificed for these adjustments. I would love to change that perspective by engaging with these brands and providing customer feedback – when a product is loved, let’s encourage their manufacture and when they’re not our favorites, let’s provide constructive feedback! I want to dedicate my weekend experience to carefully documenting my journey and interactions with these companies and brands so they can better meet the needs and desires of their customer base.
Additionally, I’m really excited to attend the classes offered at the expo. The range of experts and fields represented is really noteworthy – it’s really rare to see so many professionals gathered in one place sharing their knowledge! As I mentioned in a previous post, educating yourself is one of the most important steps in managing dietary restrictions and/or supporting those with dietary restrictions. I’m especially fascinated by the science-based seminar that examines the relation between the gut, the brain, and the skin. And, of course, I can never turn down solid cooking pointers – I always feel that recipes gain my favor when I know and meet the real chef. It helps me understand their perspectives, their general taste and cooking style.