The Relationship Between Food and our Environment


If I had to pick an overriding theme from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2018 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo™ (FNCE) held October 20 to 23 in Washington, D.C., it’s “responsibility.”

The healthcare providers, policy makers, researchers, registered dietitians, nutritionists and the nutrition providers themselves were urging everyone to take responsibility for what we eat, what we recommend others to eat, and to pay attention to the impact the food we eat has on our own health and the environment at large.

Popular sessions focused on hot bed topics ranging from eating for fertility to emergency nutrition for disasters.

“Every day, food and nutrition become more closely related to societal issues like malnutrition, climate change, the opioid crisis and political unrest,” said registered dietitian nutritionist and Academy President, Mary Russell. This conference focused on making those connections and helping to address major social problems.

Here are some of the products and services we were impressed with to help make eating well easier under all circumstances.

E-prep essentials – The dietitians of Meals For All—an emergency preparation service have thought of everything you need to survive nutritionally in case of emergency. Hospitals and other institutions can get meals planned and forget about them until it’s needed. The meals don’t require any skills or special equipment to prepare, and that means you are always prepared. These 1-7 day menus will last up to 10 years.

Check your DNA before you change your habits Nutrigenomix’s 45-gene testing helps navigate health, fitness and fertility so you know what your DNA says you should do for your body to get the most out of your genetics in response to environmental factors. For example, some people can drink caffeine all day and others get jittery at the first sip. What we eat impacts each of us differently. Knowing your genes gives you your best shot at eating in the way that’s healthiest for you.

Healthy toppers – Having been a vegetarian all of my adult life, I know what it’s like to be stuck without protein. Vegetarian Traveler thought of that when they introduced “Protein Toppers,” a medley of plant-based proteins you can use to top off your meals and snacks for great taste, satisfying crunch and extra nutrients on the go.

Single, double or triple ingredient bars & bites That’s It bars and truffle bites are a great example of pure pairings that keep it simple and easy with fruit and vegetable ingredients that work well together and fill you up without the filler.  Everyone needs more fruits and vegetables and this is a delicious, no guilt, easy-to-chew way to eat them.

Fad-free nutrition – The MD & the Foodie behind Bistro MD are trying to take the fads out of healthy eating with balanced nutrition and gourmet taste. The meal service launched a new easy app so your food can be made-to-order. Eating well in every sense has never been easier.

Pickled Health – Fermented foods are good for you. Oh Snap! makes eating pickled vegetables delicious, easy, healthy and convenient at the same time with single-packaged pickled vegetables. You really can get the perfectly seasoned crispness of a brine-free pickle on the go.

Frozen grains – You heard it right. Frozen is fresher than fresh, so we were thrilled when the grain enthusiast at Grainful introduced delicious frozen entrees to power every day adventures with global cuisine.

Nutritional oils – We were impressed with single ingredient oils from the clean seeds, fruits and brans that Lekithos puts out. These oils have been more gently processed than other vegetables oils and can still be used for cooking and healing.

Super Dairy – This is a good foreign invasion. If you prefer your yogurt to be more buttery than tart, you need to try Wunder Creamery’s Quark treats. It starts with small-batch; grass-fed milk enhanced with 17 hours of alchemy that amp up the protein count to 17 grams per cup.  This nutritional and flavor-packed yogurt upgrade is actually spoonable cheese and a favorite around the world.

Un-pasta – There are a lot of non-pasta pastas out there. We liked Tolerant’s Legume-based recipe for its low glycemic index, faster digestion and allergy tolerance. What’s more, it meets the fiber, protein and vegetable serving needs all in one simple ingredient—the black bean, pea, lentil or chickpea.

Fuel for fasting – If you’re jumping on the intermittent fasting bandwagon, you’re going to need to fuel up. Synthesized from essential amino acids, Lysine and Methionine – L-Carnitine is used by athletes to mobilize fat when it’s being oxidized to support endurance.  Nutrabolics puts out Carnitine 1500, which is designed to supersaturate muscles with L-Carnitine to prevent deficiencies. Fuel for Fire nutritionally dense protein-packed pouches are also a perfect grab-and-go snack to help you feel satiated and impact quality of life without being too fattening or medicinal.

The next annual FNCE gathering will be in Philadelphia October 26 – 29, 2019.

Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a globe-trotting trend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a New York-based marketing communications firm with an office in Los Angeles. Trent & Company, which launched many fitness brands, grew out of Nancy’s personal commitment to helping people live longer and healthier lives.  A former journalist for New York magazine, Nancy has written seven books on healthy lifestyles, serves on the editorial boards of several magazines and travels around the world speaking at conferences and trade shows on trends in the marketplace. She is a recognized expert in PR with more than 30 years of experience creating and managing highly successful campaigns. Nancy can be reached at (212) 966-0024 or through e-mail at  You may also visit


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