Dietary Needs

Convening Kosher – from Facilities & Destinations Magazine, Summer 2016

Convening Kosher  Communication and knowledge are key to ensuring the F&B experience pleases all parties At a recent Tourism Ireland event, I was intrigued by a query to guest host Lady Dunleath about the menus available at Ballywalter Park, Lord and Lady Dunleath’s Northern Ireland home. A meeting planner representing a law firm in Manhattan’s financial district inquired about the availability of vegetarian, vegan and kosher meals at the estate, whose Mansion House is offered for group functions. In the ensuing conversation, the planner noted that, given the costs involved in obtaining kosher provisions, she tried to investigate if attendees…

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Utilize Technology to Make Diet Choices Easier & Safer

Nearly everyone is trying to watch what they eat nowadays, but even the most obsessive foodies can find it frustrating to really know with confidence just what they are putting into their bodies. Food labels can be difficult to read and keep track of if you’re on a diet of any kind. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have laboratory testing info on all the foods you eat? Food Spectrometers & Detectors With so much power in our hands these days, it only makes sense that our smartphones would become the best source of food-related apps and tools. One…

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Ramadan Mubarak (Happy Ramadan), An Important Primer

There are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims, 22% of the world’s population, which means Ramadan is a big part of many people’s lives, probably several people you know. In the meetings and events industry, it’s also a unique time because it directly involves the consumption or non-consumption of food.   What is Ramadan About? Broadly speaking, Ramadan is a month-long way to cultivate self-discipline, a sort of spiritual detox, that brings about good habits of worship and day-to-day practices to be carried out throughout the year. “The fast is performed to learn discipline, self-restraint, and generosity, while observing God’s commandments,” according…

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The Real Difference Between Dietary Choices & Dietary Needs

As the controversy and, let’s face it, confusion, rages on around the world here’s an easy primer on the why’s and woes of dietary choices and dietary needs. Let’s begin with an actual disease, Celiac Disease. Celiac Disease isn’t an allergy to gluten as many people often mistake. It is an actual autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley) causes damage to the small intestine. An estimated 1 in every 100 people has celiac, worldwide and most are undiagnosed. Because this is an actual autoimmune disorder, a diagnosis will ensure opportunity for…

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Food Allergy Action Month

May is Food Allergy Action Month: Quick & Easy Ways to Celebrate

It's Food Allergy Action Month: Learn the Facts to be Prepared Right now it’s peak season for allergies and that includes food allergies. While the prevalence, severity, and impact of food allergies as well as the current understanding of food allergies in diagnostics, treatments, prevention and public policy are being studied, it’s important that a broad awareness be built - allergies are potentially life threatening and there is no known cure. Thrive! Meetings & Events is helping to create public awareness out of the commitment to serve individuals, families, and communities affected by the disease, but most importantly to also help inform…

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Planning for LGBT Guests – Based on What I Know About Planning for Guests With Special Dietary Needs

I have seen a tremendous amount of social-media backlash against “religious freedom” laws in North Carolina (HB2) and Mississippi (HB1523), both of which allow businesses and nonprofits to discriminate against LGBT people in accordance with their religious beliefs. More than 100 major corporations (Google, Apple, Bank of America, and other powerhouses) oppose the North Carolina ordinance. Pepsi, Choice Hotels and Hyatt have publicly opposed the Mississippi law. And, of course, meetings are pulling out in droves. But organizations that cannot afford to cancel at the last minute have no choice but to meet in these states. Planning for LGBT attendees is similar to…

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Brazil Eventos & Transparency

As an international speaker and Food & Beverage expert, I've found at least one universal truth - allergies are present in all countries and, therefore, a place must be set at the table for attendee safety and trust. I speak on a number of topics when I travel, including legislation and legality of meetings, efficient food and beverage budgeting, custom eater menu planning, and more. Next week I'll be in Brazil discussing important food trends from around the world and how to seamlessly incorporate these exciting trends into your meetings and events for an experience your attendees will devour. I’ve…

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Kids Summer Cooking Camp

Kids Summer Cooking Camp (Ages 10+) Among her many talents, Tracy Stuckrath is teaching summer cooking camps. She is available by request for private lessons, adult cooking classes, and customized group courses. These summer classes, however, are all about the kids. Slow Food: Sourcing & Cooking Locally Kids will learn to make real food, using real ingredients! The farm will be coming to us once again this summer as many local farms and producers including Moore Farm & Friends, Banner Butter, Many Fold Farm Cheeses, Riverview Farms, and White Oak Pastures provide farm fresh ingredients for each day of camp.…

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Valentine’s Day Reminders for Sweet Success

Valentine’s is right around the corner and while loved ones are fervently planning the perfect evening, you are assembling the team that will make it happen. But are food allergies and dietary restrictions being planned into your event? Here are just a few reminders to help make the evening a sweet success. Allergens Let’s face it, anaphylaxis isn’t sexy. Keeping an epinephrine auto-injector may or may not be an option in your state. It’s a life saving tool, so if it is available add it to your emergency kit along with at least one staff member trained in how to…

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climatarian is a diet whose primary goal is to reverse climate change

Climatarian: What this New Food Word Means for Menus

Climatarian: The Diet Based on Your Footprint - Your “Carbon-Footprint” Last month on Twitter, Shawna McKinley of MeetGreen tagged me while asking #eventprofs if any of them were planning menus for "climatarians." That was my first introduction to the word and I'm so glad she shared it with me. In 2015, a social network called Climates popularized the term climatarian to describe those who make specific changes in their diet to minimize their carbon footprint. “Climatarian is an easy meat eating diet that’s good for the climate and good for your health.” The site discussed food as a massive contributor to greenhouse…

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