What makes pork stand out in a smorgasbord of food and nutrition trade show booths? Delectable samples of pork loin crostinis, a colorful pig sticker and some surprising health information.
“Dietitians are in awe of how lean and versatile pork is,” says Adria Sheil-Brown, a registered dietitian and manager of nutrition communications and research for the Pork Checkoff. “It’s a message that caught people’s attention during the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ annual meeting this fall in Philadelphia.”
More than 10,000 people attended the meeting, which is hosted by the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The event provided the perfect setting to showcase all that pork brings to the table, says Wathina Luthi, an Oklahoma pork producer and member of the National Pork Board.
“The trade show offered an easy way to reach a wide range of people, and they were very receptive to our message.”
Promoting pork’s nutrient package
To highlight pork’s healthy profile and add a little fun, Luthi and the Pork Checkoff team:
• Handed out food samples and meat thermometers. Meeting attendees enjoyed a taste of lean, protein-rich pork tenderloin in the popular Philly “Cheeseloin.” In addition to the recipe, the Pork Checkoff distributed reusable hot pink grocery bags with the Other White Meat logo, along with 2,400 meat thermometers to remind people of pork’s proper end point cooking temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, with a three-minute rest.
• Made attendees the star. People who stopped by the Pork Checkoff’s booth could have their picture taken with Instagram. They also received a pig sticker to place on a map at the booth to show where they are from.
• Hosted a culinary celebrity. Nutrition expert and long-time pork promoter Michelle Dudash stopped by the Pork Checkoff’s booth to visit with meeting attendees and sign copies of her new cookbook, “Clean Eating for Busy Families.”
• Offered a wealth of educational resources. Many dietitians and nutrition professionals are surprised to learn that pork tenderloin is just as lean as a skinless chicken breast, says Sheil-Brown, who adds that seven of the most common cuts of pork are, on average, 16 percent leaner and 27 percent lower in saturated fat today than two decades ago.
“The recipes and pork nutrition information we handed out were a hit,” says Luthi, the co-owner of Luthi Farms, LLC, a farrow –to-wean operation. “I’m glad the Pork Checkoff was part of this worthwhile event.”