Keeping a Food Diary
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Shop Since You've Dropped
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I Have a Metabolism?
Jonny Bowden Weighs In
Flawless Summer Skin!
Dining at 14,000 Feet
Makeup Tips: Part Two
Open Letter from CarbSmart
Not Losing Weight?
The Sugar Alcohol Question
Make Your Summer Spicy!
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Recently someone pointed out to me that my last couple of columns had a negative tone
and it would be nice to mention some of the good things I've observed recently. Let's
start with a couple of food shows.
The New York Fancy Food Show:
Food shows are food-focused trade shows at various venues around the world where food
manufacturers and marketers setup booths and buyers attend for one to five days.
No other show can compete with this one. Being a New Yorker, the convenience of having
it in the same city helps me feel that way. Regardless, this show is my absolute favorite.
Vendors come from all over the world to display their gourmet food items. Honestly, I
could spend a day in the section from Italy! Many of the food shows I go to are
health-food oriented and, as a result, the average culinary quality of the items being
sampled is low. This show provides an opportunity to try premium items from all over
Aside from the opportunity to sample all this great food, this show gave us an opportunity
to meet many different kinds of customers. After an exhausting three days I was left with
a few distinct ideas about the direction of Expert Foods and, perhaps, the low-carb industry.
- The customer base has broadened. At least a third of the interest in our products
came from food service (i.e. caterers, restaurants, hotels, etc.) operations rather than
retail stores. They see a need to provide high-quality healthy options to their customers.
- Low-carb was present, but with less frenzy. At the San Francisco Fancy Food Show
in January many vendors started putting out low-carb signs during the show. They felt it
was necessary to be competitive. Of course, that frenzy led people to put out those signs
even though their products weren't really low-carb. There was certainly less of that at
- The buyers are well-educated. We received better questions than ever at this show.
Buyers have more experience and more information before the show, leading them to ask smarter
questions. Educated customers are our best customers!
American Culinary Federation National Convention:
The ACF show was very different from Fancy Food. The ACF is a 75 year old trade group of chefs
ranging from independent restaurants to major hotel and cruise line companies. This trade
show ran in Orlando for two days as part of the ACF's five day national convention which
included classes, seminars, and a gala dinner or two. On the trade show floor over 70% of
the room was wearing a white chef's jacket — an impressive sight to see. We didn't actually
have a booth at this show. I was walking the floor to see if we want to show there next year
or at any of their regional shows in the intervening twelve months.
Toward the end of the trade show I ended up speaking with Jack Hayes, the southeast bureau
chief of Nation's Restaurant News, one of the largest restaurant trade magazines in the U.S.
I asked him what he thought was interesting about this year's ACF show. He indicated there
were two large changes this year:
- A significant focus on ethnic diversity. Asian cuisine was in evidence everywhere.
- A role of the chef in a restaurant/food service operation has become a serious
treatment of nutrition.
The first point is interesting however I think the second point is more interesting for readers
of Low Carb Luxury. It was great to see so many of the chefs at the concerned about the
nutritional profile of their offerings. The ACF even sponsored a nutritional cooking contest.
Unfortunately, I only was allowed in the trade show and didn't see the contest.
A Great Question:
Of course, there were a few issues with some of the vendors on the show room floor. There were
several items labeled low-carb that had flour or sugar listed prominently on their ingredients
label. My favorite was one vendor who made a wild claim about net carbs calculations, "you can
subtract sugar if you're on South Beach." I'm sure Dr. Agatston would love that.
Recently, I received a great question from a consumer. Basically, she was confused how a product
labeled "no sugar added" could have dextrose on the ingredients label. She questioned whether
the FDA was lax in enforcing their rules.
Unfortunately, this product hasn't broken any rules. The "no sugar added" health claim means
the product hasn't added any table sugar (a.k.a. sucrose) to their product. The claim implies
nothing about any other sugar (including dextrose, lactose, etc). Along the same lines
"sugar-free" products can have any amount of fructose in them and still make that claim.
I hope everyone has a great August. Please keep sending in the questions. It is great to
hear from you. I can be reached at MarkLCLux@ExpertFoods.com.
Copyright © August 2004 Mark Uhrmacher and Low Carb Luxury
Title photo Copyright © 2004 Neil Beaty and Low Carb Luxury