Informing Dietitians About Pork

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Informing Dietitians About Pork


Don Wick


Adria Huseth, Manager Nutrition Communications, National Pork Board




Don Wick:  00:01  From the Pork Checkoff in Des Moines Iowa it’s Pork Pod! Pork Pod, a look at the hot topics in today’s pork industry. The Pork Checkoff is working for you through various forms of research, promotion and consumer information projects. This is Don Wick speaking on behalf of the Pork Checkoff and today our guest is Adria Huseth who is a registered dietitian and manages Nutrition Communications and Research for the Pork Checkoff. Very important nutrition conference took place in recent weeks. Tell us about this conference and really the message Adria.

Adria Huseth:  00:34  Absolutely. So we’ve done this RD summit, this is the seventh year so we do it every year. We have a different target audience each year so in the past we’ve worked with retail dietitians, we’ve worked with community dietitians that are popular and you know social media or the blogosphere we’ve worked with Latino dietitians and I would say the last two years we’ve focused on the African-American dieticians. The reason for that is we want to understand the world of the registered dietitian a little better because there is this misperception within their communities and their clientele that red meat is not healthy or they’re not supposed to consume it. So we wanted to combat those misperceptions and the best way to do that we thought is to bring them together for a deep dive and kind of a Pork 101 hitting everything from the product to production on the farm.  So there’s a lot of nutrition noise going around in our profession. And so we needed to address some of those key issues. And like I said that includes animal agriculture production in products hormones. We like to touch and meat qualities are what they’re looking for in the grocery stores. And then of course nutrition research to wrap up and kind of bring it full circle.

Don Wick:  01:49  What an interesting focus. Tell me how did it go, what was reaction?

Adria Huseth:  01:53  It was the absolutely fantastic turn out. We had 15 dietitians and they were all really excited. So the Culinary Institute in St. Helena California is a beautiful campus and it’s just you know the state of the art kitchens. We have these you know world renowned chefs that are helping us in the kitchen. So if I had to say from you know our post survey work up is that they really really enjoy just having the opportunity to be in these beautiful kitchens to have their hands on cooking experience with the pork not only learning how to cook it properly but learning the different cuts, where they come, from you know the nutrient profile of them and then learning how to use them and incorporate them into different recipes. Using pork as an ingredient and using different you know ethnic background, ethnic dishes,  different spices and herbs and flavors maybe they weren’t as familiar with using and being able to turn that around and use that with their clientele, I would say it was really really exciting for them. And then you know in addition to being in beautiful wine country indulging in some local wine and of course wonderful food. So it was a great turnout, a really great educational experience for them we were you know we really packed that information in, so it’s a well rounded event. We always have you know really terrific feedback.

Don Wick:  03:10  So are we making some headway in clearing up some of the misconceptions?

Adria Huseth:  03:16  Yeah and I think this is one way you know one aspect where we can reach this audience you know some of our consumer research shows that the perception of pork by African Americans are kind of skewed on our products being you know on the more unhealthy side.

Adria Huseth:  03:31  But the reality is, is that they’re not they’re not unhealthy there’s you know eight cuts that are under 10 grams of fat and deemed you know healthy by USDA definition. And so our goal is to educate those health professionals who are working with this clientele because African-American consumers do index high on our products. They just have this overlain guilt when eating the products you know whether it’s they’ve heard it from their doctor or heard it in the media or you know wherever they’re getting their information somehow they’re getting this perception that pork is not healthy. And so we can get these dietitians who you know are who are advocates and our health influencers getting the right information to these people. That’s one way to combat these misperceptions and this is why we continue to do this summit year after year.

Don Wick:  04:21  Certainly this audience would have a lot of influence.

Adria Huseth:  04:24  Absolutely. And then the neat aspect is, our human nutrition research obviously plays a role.  And so Dr. Bales from Duke, we had to power up that he just published a few months ago that had an African-American subject component to it. And so we were we had Dr. Bales present that research to this African-American dietician group and it was really well received and they were really excited because you know at different target audiences and human nutrition research African-American subjects are always a focus. And so with Dr. Bales research it really was. So it’s really great venue for them to you know disseminate this information and they’re really excited not only that we did the research but with the results and outcome. It’s a great experience that we had. It was very well received and I think you know just having this educational platform to educate these dietitians is really going to go a long way with reaching this community.

Don Wick:  05:19  Thanks to you for listening to this edition of Pork Pod. For more information on this topic or the Pork Checkoff itself visit