Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Whole Grains Conference Day 1- Bob's Red Mill

I arrived in Portland late late late Sunday Night/Monday Morning and crashed with Corinne and Janel in their downtown waterfront hotel. I woke up the morning, worked out and enjoyed some lovely cantaloupe infused water while doing work bi-coastally and listening to the release of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines (more on that when i have time to digest them...)
hate water? Ditch the sugar and just add some lemon, lime, cucumber or melon-such a burst of flavor!
Around noon we headed a few blocks to the Nines Hotel. Such an amazing boutique hotel, with gorgeous rooms, fantastic staff, and such a fun atmosphere!
Plus I have some pretty great company:
Registered Dietitians, dear friends and fellow bloggers, Corinne and Janel
Night one Corinne and I were roommates
Painting your hotel Tiffany's blue? genius.
love the textiles
We kicked off the Oldways & Whole Grain Council's Whole Grains Conference with a tour of Bob's Red Mill-led by Bob himself!

Bob lives and breathes the whole grain lifestyle.
when he's not serenading us that is...
Bob is the most active 82 year old I've ever met
I love the motto of his business: Life insurance you eat. I'm a huge fan of all their products, and grew up eating his 7-grain hot cereal,(I already professed my groupie love at expo east) so it was fantastic to get to see the location where everything is made. Yes, that's right-tBuy->clean->mill->blend->package. All with only 210 employees (can we make it 211???)
Since this is a facility where food is processed, ground and packaged, we had to make sure we kept it clean and put our hats and goggles on
We got to see the entire process of cornmeal being ground
cornmeal in hand
inner whole grain nerd-dom shines through

and behind the scenes at packaging

and even did some quality testing:
Unfortunately we could only stay for a short while, but on the bus back Dennis Gilliam, head of sales and marketing, explained to us the importance of the Spurtle- a Scottish porridge stirrer
He is 'Making the world aware of what the spurtle is, one spurtle at a time' I expect my oatmeal to be at least 3 times better when I get back.

We then scurried back to the hotel to listen to the opening presentations of the Whole Grains Conference. The theme of the conference is Whole grains: the New Norm

This is what the schedule looked like:
  • Surprising evidence that whole grains have gone mainstream by Sara Baer-Sinnott and Cynthia Harriman, Oldways; Michael Bittel, King Arthur Flour
  • What Do They Know That I Don't? How and why "social norms" affect our behavior by Jerry Burger, Professor of Psychology, Santa Clara University
  • Whole Grains And Health: A Roundup of the Latest Research by
    • Penny Kris-Etherton, Professor of Nutrition, Penn State University
  • Whole Grains in the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines by Eve Essery, USDA Center for Nutrition Promotion and Policy
  • Fighting Childhood Obesity with the ECO Project by Bob Moore, Bob's Red Mill and Courtney Jackson, the ECO Project
Some great points were raised, in an especially timely manner considering that the Dietary Guidelines were released simultaneously. It is also a mixed group of attendees: both health professionals, and industry execs, making for some great conversations.

We wrapped up the night with a networking cocktail reception with plenty of delicious whole grain nibbles, and vino. We talked more with Bob and Heidi Swanson, (Janel has the photos!) and met some fantastic people. We ended the night at a Tweetup in the Nines lobby-let's not forget that I am live-tweeting this entire conference-follow me here and also search the #wgconf to see what everyone else is saying!

Whew-Can't wait for day 2 to start! Thank you Thank you Thank you to Oldways PT and the Whole Grains Council for sponsoring me as the lucky winner of the free blogger pass! I am so happy to be here!

What's your favorite whole grain????????? I find it so hard to chose just one!!


Christina said...

I love Bob's Red Mill products! You're so lucky to have toured and get to attend such a great conference. Have fun!

fittoindulge.com said...

Thanks for the scoop on the conference. It looks like a fab time. That hotel is gorgeous. I'll have to keep that on the radar. Fruity water.. that must be a Portland thing. We're not that fancy in Seattle. ;) Enjoying every bite of whole grains just a little bit more!