I attend a lot of Gluten and/or Allergy Free Expos and every time I go, either as a vendor or as a consumer, I always get something good out of attending. Here’s why you should consider attending one in your area:
1. You’re Newly Diagnosed: Overwhelmed, having a hard time knowing what’s correct information on the internet or where you should start? Expos always have a roster of great speakers who can help demystify the new world you’re entering whether with information or wonderful recipes to try. Try to attend as many talks as you can to get a superb overview of how you can take your next step.
2. You Were Diagnosed Ages Ago: You too should try to attend as many talks as you can at the show. There have been so many studies of late with Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance and food allergies that you just may learn something new.
3. Taste Does Count: There are samples galore at these shows, it’s actually a good idea to come with an empty stomach or you’ll be full really fast. I heard a child say to her parent, “I can eat EVERYTHING here?” with wonderment. It just doesn’t get much better than that. And whether you’re newly diagnosed or old hat, you’ll be surprised at how good specialty diet food is these days and just how much variety is out there.
4. Discover a Small or Local Food Processor: Big grocery stores are getting so much better about offering gluten free and allergy friendly foods and that makes it easier to get your groceries done in one place. Yet at the same time, they all carry mostly the same items and those are the bigger names in the special diet world. At a trade show you’ll find smaller processors with innovative offerings and wonderful local restaurants and bakeries that have delights you just won’t find in your large grocery store.
5. You’ll Be Surrounded by People Just Like You! Really, imagine a world where everybody “Gets It”. Every booth you go to, all of the speakers, all of the people around you are experiencing the same issues that you do. You can strike up a conversation with any friendly stranger and discover that you’re not alone. Priceless!