I spent the weekend in the kind of situation I generally dread: a whole event all about food.
And not just any event – a 35,000 person tradeshow where food was not just the reception, it was the whole affair: the annual mecca for the natural products industry. An organic, non-GMO frenzy of creative marketing on the heels of even more creative cooking.
Not typically a heavily-restricted custom eater’s “recipe” for success.
In the beginning, it went about as you’d expect for a gluten-, dairy-, soy-, treenut-, peanut- and olive oil-free eater (yes, I’m allergic to olive oil…): I politely read labels before sampling even the daintiest of proffered delights, and enjoyed the only very occasional Eureka! joys of finding one I could try.
But soon it became an event about hope
because of all the new products I found touting “gluten-free”, “dairy-free” and more. Hope
because of all the entrepreneurs (like Jane Pinto, above, from Don't Go Nuts
) who immediately “got” my family’s story – and could match it with one of their own. Hope
because of the larger brands in our freedible family, like So Delicious Dairy Free
, who gleefully accompanied me to meet their younger compatriots in search of new “finds” they could support.
But most of all, hope
because of all the men and women I met who don’t
have an allergy, celiac disease or any other
diagnosis between themselves and food – but who immediately “got” how important our movement is to help those who do.
In short my friends, hope
is on the way.
And that is something I thought was just too good not to share.
So, in celebration, I’ve put together a photo album from the show
with the freedible brands and bloggers who attended – and a few more we hope will be joining us soon.
Please check it out, and use our searchable Food Brands Directory
, to find ones whose products might actually work for your family’s needs. When you do, we’d love it if you click through to their profiles to leave them a note thanking them for being here – and for all that they do.