Expowest: Going Beyond Sustainability to the Future of Food.
It’s been a few days since Expowest 2018 came to a close. I’ve had some time to digest the impact, and I want to share my takeaways with you.
Yes, there were a ton of vendors there with some very innovative products- too many to sample them all. But for me, this year wasn’t about the hottest product or what ingredient was trending on the show floor This show was about finding my purpose. I struggle with being a food technologist turned freelance writer and often wonder how it all fits in the natural and organic food industry. I got my answers at Expo.
2018 was my 7th expo but the first one that allowed me the freedom to attend the educational seminars and keynote speakers. I realized that innovation goes beyond our ingredient choices, the biodegradable packaging, or even the quest to be sustainable. It was during the
Esca Bona stories that I first heard the terms regenerative agriculture and perennial grains. By the time Rose Marcario entered the stage for Saturday’s keynote I had realized the impact this “new” concept could have on the food industry and the planet. I learned about a new perennial grain called kernza™ and even got to sample a beer made with the regenerative grain over at the Patagonia Provisions booth after Rose invited us all over for happy hour.
The conversations were inclusive no matter what your role in the food industry. Growers, product developers, legal, and writers all play an important part in moving our industry forward. We are utilizing technology and working together to create a new sustainable model that goes beyond staying the course and allows us to repair, grow, and feed on a scale that has a positive impact.
I’m excited by this new grain, kernza™. I don’t know that much about it, but I plan to dig in and learn all I can about the functionality and applications. Expo 2018 gave me the chance to learn from leaders in the natural and organic industry. The speakers did not sugar coat the challenges the food industry faces. However the emphasis is on working together- scientists, farmers, marketers, retailers, etc. to leave this planet better than it is now while providing nutritious food.
I’m stoked I was able to meet so many of you. Being surrounded by forward-thinking people who share passion and hope is a powerful way to spend a weekend!