A unique Pork Checkoff conference at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) is inspiring dietitians to help their clients rediscover the pleasures of healthy eating in the New Year.
“There’s a lot of ‘nutrition noise’ out there, and consumers don’t know what to believe,” says Adria Sheil-Brown, a registered dietitian and manager of nutrition communications and research for the Pork Checkoff. “When we share the facts about pork with retail dietitians, there are many ‘a-ha’ moments where you can see the wheels turning in their heads.”
The Pork Checkoff showcased all things pork to dietitians from its top 20 retail partners, including Meijer, H-E-B, Marsh, Hy-Vee, Nash Finch and others, during a two-day meeting in the fall of 2012 at the CIA’s Greystone location in California’s Napa Valley. Speakers presented the latest pork nutrition research, harvested a pork carcass, highlighted the versatility of today’s lean pork cuts, answered questions about modern pork production and shared ideas for in-store cooking and sampling demonstrations.
Anne Cundiff, a registered dietitian with Hy-Vee in Des Moines, appreciated the variety of topics covered at the conference.
“Having a veterinarian provide information on the farm-to-fork production of pork was excellent. I also enjoyed seeing where the ‘Slim 7’ cuts of pork come from on the pig and learning how to prepare them. This really changed my views on the proper way to keep pork flavorful and moist during meal preparation.”
Dietitians discover pork’s possibilities
Cundiff is excited to share this information with consumers who are seeking information on healthy, cost-effective, convenient meals for their families. “This conference has given me the confidence to provide accurate nutrition information regarding all aspects of pork and show how pork can be a lean protein leader in people’s daily meals.”
Meeting attendees received a wealth of pork nutrition information, including recipe brochures and more, to help them promote pork throughout the year to their clients, says Sheil-Brown, who is looking forward to hosting another conference for retail dietitians in 2013.
Shari Steinbach, a registered dietitian and healthy living manager with Meijer, appreciated the opportunity to network with food and nutrition professionals and participate in hands-on cooking seminars at the Pork Checkoff’s inaugural conference. “The knowledge I gained is helping my team of dietitians put together solutions for consumers in the form of recipes and easy ways to incorporate pork into a weekly menu plan.”
Steinbach’s team is also using the Pork Checkoff’s information and recipes in Meijer’s cooking demonstrations, media interviews and educational materials. “I really appreciate the Pork Checkoff investing time and money to educate supermarket dietitians, who serve as a liaison between farmers and consumers.”