Teaming Up for a Common Goal

August 6, 2014

Teaming Up for a Common Goal

A recap of NFCA’s Beckee Moreland’s trip to the first-ever conference hosted by Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE).

Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) hosted their first ever allergen conference. Beckee Moreland, NFCA’s Director of GREAT Kitchens, was invited to be a part of this conference to speak to the needs of the celiac disease and gluten sensitive communities. While food allergies, gluten sensitivity and celiac disease are completely different conditions, they are both treated the same way: through avoidance of the trigger foods. In addition, people with food allergies and celiac disease deal with daily dilemmas that affect their quality of life. These common denominators make FARE and NFCA perfect partners in raising awareness of special dietary needs.

Beckee Moreland with Friends - Dinner at FARE Conference

NFCA’s Beckee Moreland (second from left)
enjoying dinner with her FARE friends.

Beckee’s first speaking session, “The Spectrum of Food Allergies: Related Disorders” was shared with Dr. Wendy Book from the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders, and Tonya Winders from the Allergy & Asthma Network. Together, these experts focused on educating the audience on conditions that tend to go hand-in-hand. By alerting the food allergy community to the connections to celiac disease, we can increase diagnoses and help people adopt the life-saving gluten-free diet.

On the second day of sessions, Beckee was a part of a panel that talked about the unique challenges faced by college students living with food allergies and gluten-related disorders. She was joined by expert panelists Anne Thompson, a food allergy mom and patient advocate, Beth Winthrop of Sodexo, Betsy Craig of AllerTrain, and Kristi Grim from FARE. The focus of the session was to provide parents and students with valuable information concerning college entry and what services and contacts will assist them.

According to Beckee, raising awareness alongside expert colleagues wasn’t the only highlight. She got to see friends like Joel and Mary Schaeffer, two chefs that are understanding of food allergies and gluten-free needs. Chef Joel even hosted a “hot spot” session, “Creating a ‘Food Allergen Safety Zone’ at Home,” where he utilized a demo kitchen to explain the risk of cross-contact and provided tips for home safety.

And last, but certainly not least, Beckee got a glimpse of the 2012 NFL MVP Adrian Peterson, running back for the Minnesota Vikings. Recently diagnosed with a life-threatening shellfish allergy, Peterson has quickly become the face of the food allergy community, working to show kids that having a food allergy doesn’t define who you are.

NFCA congratulates FARE on hosting a successful first-ever conference. Job well done!