Food Matters Live is the UK’s first cross-sector event which brings together the food and drink industry, retailers, foodservice providers, government and those working in nutrition, to enable collaboration and innovation to support a sustainable food landscape for the future.
The three day event has been running now for a number of years at the Excel in London. Visit the Food Matters Live website to find out more.
My advice is to plan ahead. Study the programme and work out which events you want to attend. Certain events, like the Allergy UK Catering session required pre-booking so do this early to avoid missing out. Others get full up quickly to make sure you get to the room on time.
- Free Seminars – There are so many subjects, streams and speakers to choose from that it’s actually hard to decide and there were many clashes that meant I couldn’t attend everything I had ear marked but I did cram in a lot of learning. As well as a whole afternoon crammed with speakers in the FreeFrom seminar series you could learn about so many things from The Future of Food to Tackling Obesity to name just a few.
- Allergy UK ran a seminar – Catering for those affected by Food Allergy – I was lucky to be able to attend this and it was so useful for me, not to mention timely after my recent experience in America. Find out more here.
- New Products – It was exciting to discover a new Dairy Free Chocolate from Push. It is dairy, soya and nut free and also very low in sugar. I was lucky enough to try to some it was really delicious, not too sweet and great cocoa flavour. It’s not on the market yet but look out for news in 2018. Remember, you hear about it here first!
- The FreeFrom Eating Out Awards were hosted in the main glass theatre room to a packed audience. This was the highlight of the show for me and main reason for me attending. As a judge for the awards I’m so passionate about finding safe places to eat where I feel included and not like I’m awkward or not welcome. To see the Winners of the FreeFrom Eating out Awards visit their website here. More blogs soon on the amazing restaurants I was privileged to be able to judge.
- Networking – I managed to catch up with so many friendly faces and fellow bloggers and enjoyed coffees, catch-ups, wine, cuddles and support. Thank you Natalie (Intolerant Gourmand), Vicki (FreeFrom Fairy and the best freefrom flour), Carly (Gluten Free B), Sue Cane (GF Beer expert), Michelle, Cressida and Hannah, Jenny (The Lunchbox Doctor), Steve Walpole and so many more of you… you really don’t know how helpful those three days were for me.
- Meeting new people – I also made a few new contacts, including a blogger who I have been following on Twitter and not met properly before. I think we had met but I’d not connected the dots. So lovely to meet you 7 Years to diagnosis. You can read her review of Food Matters Live and the FFEO Awards 2017 here.
- New Skinny gluten free beer – A chance meeting on the train home on the last day meant I had a bottle of this to sample and it’s delicious. It’s not as sweet at a lot of gluten free beers and was really refreshing. I would definitely drink this again, and the creative in my just loves the brand and labelling. So clean, fresh and modern. Find out more about Skinny Brands lager here.
- Low FODMAP diets – Dr Megan Rossi presented a really informative talk about this very complicated area of food and diet.
- Histamine Intolerance – If you want to know about this check out Dr Janice Joneja who has written two books, one for the layman and another for professionals. This was such an interesting session as I hadn’t really grasped quite what histamine intolerance was or how it could be controlled. Read, The Beginners Guide to Histamine Intolerance here.
- Fecal Microbiota Transplant – don’t be squeamish, this isn’t a disgusting as it sounds and could really change the lives of many people with allergies. Visit the Taymount Clinic website to find out how introducing missing, healthy, clean and tested bacteria could help many immune conditions to improve.
Don’t go there expecting to find loads of FreeFrom foods. There were some of great brands there but many were not offering samples and none of them were selling their products. The lovely ladies from Angels and Cookies were there showcasing their delicious and totally freefrom cookie dough. Yes of course I had to try some of that! I did get to try some amazing Sprouted Rye Bread which was so moist and tasty, as well as Freedom Vegan Mallows. And Don’t forget the chocolate and beer – see above!
If you’re interested in food, science, the future and more, you should consider attending this next year. It’s completely free and well worth the horrible train journey out to the Excel Conference Centre.