Culinary Institute of America chefs shared picture-worthy ways to prepare pork with the dietitians.

By Claire Masker

Latino-American dietitians recently learned more about pork and its role in a healthy diet when it took center stage at the Pork Checkoff’s seventh annual Registered Dietitian Summit.

“Checkoff research shows that while Latino Americans consume more pork, they also have health concerns about it,” said Jose de Jesus, director of multicultural marketing for the Pork Checkoff.

“The summit allowed us to share facts about pork,” he said. “Armed with this information, the dietitians can spread the message to their clients on how pork can be included in a healthy diet.”

The Checkoff showcased all things pork to the highly influential Latino American registered dietitians who attended. The two-day March event was held at the  Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone location in California’s Napa Valley.

Speakers presented the latest pork nutrition research, butchered a pork carcass, highlighted the versatility of today’s lean pork cuts, answered questions about pork production and shared ideas on how the dietitians can reach out to clients on including pork in a healthy diet.

From pork recipe trends to how pigs are raised, dietitians went home armed with lots information to share with clients.

Sylvia Klinger, a registered dietitian and founder of Hispanic Food Communications, Inc., a nutrition and food communications consulting company, welcomed the variety of topics. She also participated in a farm tour for registered dietitians last summer in South Dakota.

“The two activities have helped me learn more about the farm-to-fork process for pork,” Klinger said. “I’m excited to share with my clients how pigs are raised and introduce them to healthy ways to prepare pork.”

Many Latino-American consumers think they need to remove red meat from their diet to eat healthy, according to Adria Huseth, a registered dietitian and manager of nutrition communications and research for the Pork Checkoff.

“But consumers can grill instead of fry a pork chop, pair it with vegetables and still enjoy the same flavor profile,” Huseth said. “We encourage dietitians to promote pork throughout the year with their clients.”

Attendees went home with new knowledge about  pork nutrition and environmental sustainability, along with pork recipes.

Manuel Villacorta, a registered dietitian and San Francisco author, appreciated networking with industry professionals and participating in the hands-on cooking seminar at the summit.

“The knowledge I gained will continue to help me as I work with my weight-loss clients,” Villacorta said. “There are so many ways that they can incorporate pork into a weekly meal plan. I appreciate the Pork Checkoff investing the time and money to educate us so that we can help our clients.”