I have been to a lot of conferences, forums, workshops and networking events over the years and many really don’t excite me much. However yesterday’s Food as Medicines Forum was a whole new ballgame.
Backtrack to Wednesday morning when I had a LinkedIn invitation from Stacey King from Nature Pacific (they make fabulous coconut products). I’d met Stacey a couple of years ago at a social media presentation I gave, so we had a bit of an email chat, and she asked if I was going to the Food as Medicines Forum. Um, HELLO! The WHAT?? No I wasn’t going but how could I?? And how fabulous!
A couple of quick emails and phone calls later and I was in. Phew!
There were so many interesting speakers and topics, some I could have listened to for hours, not the allocated 20 minutes they all had.
Highlights for me were the sessions on:
- Chia seed – something I obviously have heard of and eaten sporadically, but I had NO IDEA of the health benefits. Professor Lindsay Brown and his team at USQ at Toowoomba are doing a heap of research into the health benefits and early studies have shown that eating chia has a huge metabolic and cardiac benefit. I know what I’ll be adding to my diet! His team is also doing research into the health benefits of olive leaf extract and purple carrots – I’m definitely keen to learn more!
- Dr Nic West’s study on probiotics that showed a strong link between consuming probiotics and immunity and health. These researchers at Griffith Uni are hoping to undertake a clinical trial later this year and will be looking for volunteers.
- Anthony Moloney from Melcare Biomedical talked about how honey is used in wound care – it’s not just good on toast! This research blew me away. I knew Manuka honey had antibacterial and healing properties but WOW WOW WOW. There is loads of info on his website if you want to know more – www.melcare.com
- The fabulous session on native foods by Dr Yasmina Sultanbawa from the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation. She mainly spoke about how her research that uses some native Australian foods as alternatives to sulphates in food preservation. Mainly she inspired me to revisit my veggie garden and plant some native foods.
- And finally, Ross Bearkley, from DAFF talking about the new Queensland Agriculture Strategy that was launched last month. Ross and I worked together a few years ago and he is always delightful to listen to as he is just so passionate about Queensland food and wine. If you’re into food security at all (and we all should be), be sure to download the strategy and see what’s planned for Queensland.
If you’ve read this and wished you also could have gone, worry not, they are holding another forum next year. I will definitely be there.
This event was hosted by The Cosmetics And Pharmaceuticals Special Interest Group (CAPSIG), a special interest group of the Australian Society for Microbiology (ASM), and Griffith University. I was a paying attendee.
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