#ANC14: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly Food Exhibits

The food product exhibition opened at the Annual National Conference for the School Nutrition Association in Boston (July 13-16). This is where companies display products to school nutrition professionals. These foods wind up in the kitchens of school cafeterias and in the bellies of our kids.

byNancy F Huehnergarth812 Views
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  1. In the midst of an increasingly bitter battle over the future of school food standards, and accusations that the SNA has become unduly influenced by its food industry funders, I thought it would be interesting to scour the SNA conference hashtag #ANC14 for photos of and information on foods being exhibited July 13-16, 2014. 

    While I can only highlight what I've seen posted on Twitter and I can't assess the ratio of healthy food vendors to less healthy food vendors, I have found a number of interesting Tweets from the conference participants. There's no question that many healthy and delicious foods were a part of the exhibit. It's also clear that the food industry has reformulated numerous ultra-processed junk foods to meet the new USDA "smart snack," breakfast and lunch guidelines. 

    Personally, I would love to see the nutrition professionals leading the SNA take a strong stand next year, by refusing to exhibit USDA compliant food that is still junk.  Yes, industry may have added the appropriate amount of whole grains to that empty calorie snack cracker and lowered the sugar content of that chocolate cereal. But junk is still junk, and serving slightly less damaging versions of it to our kids will not help end our childhood obesity and chronic disease crises.

    Here are my personal choices for The Good, the Bad and The Ugly Food Exhibits at #ANC14:

  2. The Good

  3. For kids who can eat dairy, this cheese snack pack is a great option.
  4. Chobani options look delicious. But keep an eye on the sugar content in those yogurt parfaits and smoothies. Fruit flavored yogurt can contain incredible amounts of added sugar. And lactose intolerance is a problem for many kids.
  5. Terrific meatless entree! I am craving you...
  6. McCormick's spices for school food service professionals who are cooking real food. Bravo to those heroes!
  7. Shaker salads! School kids will LOVE them.
  8. Just wow!
  9. Terrific USDA/Let's Move cookbook for school food professionals. Hopefully, SNA school food professionals are also sharing their most popular recipes with each other.
  10. Produce galore!
  11. Greens! Something schools need to embrace even more.
  12. Whole grain pasta dishes really do appeal to kids when prepared properly. I've learned that in my own kitchen.
  13. Vegetables are a beautiful thing! And frozen is just fine.
  14. How could I not highlight a roasted turkey hat under "The Good?" Must. Have.