The Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo is a magical place. When 10,000+ nutrition professionals come together to learn and network, one can’t help but be amazed. FNCE is something I would go to every year if given the chance, and I’m extremely grateful that Montevallo has given me the opportunity to go twice.
This year, the conference was in Washington D.C.- somewhere I’d never been. Exploring the city was powerful, filled with the history of my young country (and lots of great restaurants). It’s definitely somewhere I’d recommend visiting.
At the conference, I was able to attend many inspiring lectures and learn about current research topics. One of the most impactful presentations was that of the Academy’s Fellows. They are currently studying chronic malnutrition in Guatemala; developing policy and leading research to empower local communities. This involves the creation of home gardens to assist with food insecurity in two marginalized villages of Guatemala. Families there typically already have agricultural knowledge and access to fertile land, so in theory implementation should encounter little resistance. This kind of research is very close to my heart, and is something I could see myself being a part of in a few years, which is why that talk is one that stuck with me.
I was also able to connect with IAND- the international affiliate of the Academy. Realizing how many dietitians there are in other countries fortified my resolution to spend time abroad. I met so many people, ate so much good food, and learned so much at FNCE. I would truly love to be in attendance every year, and I’ve developed a new goal: one day, I will present at this conference.