Posted December 12, 2014
Boston RD shares memories of Kansas Wheat Safari
Kansas farm kids are no strangers to combine cabs, but for visitors to the state, a ride around the wheat field is often one of their favorite memories. Boston-based nutrition consultant Heidi McIndoo, who I met at the 2014 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, is no exception.
“It was a great experience hosting this prominent group in Kansas,” commented Wheat Foods Council President Judi Adams. “They are important influencers of consumer opinion and play a critical role in educating the American public about nutrition issues. We as an industry have much to gain by working with them to ensure that consumers have the facts about wheat from farm to fork – production, harvesting, milling and producing a table food.”
McIndoo said she learned about grain processing, including the differences between grains, how they are milled and their various end products. She even learned how to make a better pizza dough.
“I was using the wrong flour and way undermixing,” she said. “Since then, I use bread flour and my bread machine and my pizza is delicious!”
Events like the Wheat Safari help bridge the informational divide between Kansas wheat farmers and consumers. Even experts like McIndoo, who know the nutritional ins and outs of wheat foods, may have misperceptions of how that wheat is produced.
“The Safari helped me to see how the wheat industry is more mom and pop than big industry,” she said. “It relies on small farms, family run/owned farms. And that was very nice to see.”
McIndoo has worked as a registered dietician, nutrition consultant, spokesperson and author for more than 20 years, including as a former national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. She is the author of When to Eat What and the co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to 200-300-400 Calories Meals.
By Julia Debes