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April 2018

April Meeting Recap: The Lynhall

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FCS Professionals gathered at The Lynhall in Minneapolis on Monday, April 16 for the April meeting.  FCS Professionals and their guests were treated to an amazing evening of great food, conversation, learning, and service!

As part of the event, members and guests brought birthday items (cake mixes, frosting, candles, gift bags, and more) to be donated to St. Davids Center for Child and Family Development.  Maureen from St. David’s was on hand to collect the items and tell our group more about their organization.   St. David’s was the first preschool to serve children of all ability levels in Minnesota.  St. David’s also provides mental health services, therapies (occupational, physical, feeding, speech-language, and more!), and even home visits.  The birthday items our organization collected will be made into birthday packs to be distributed to families served by St. David’s.  Many of the families are low income and birthday celebrations are an “extra” that often is not affordable.  For more information on St. David’s they are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube


Anne Spaeth, owner of The Lynhall, was our featured speaker for the evening.  Anne is not your typical restauranteur–she claims she is not a good cook and her educational background is in law.  Ms. Spaeth was a lawyer working with child protective service cases and that is how she got connected with St. David’s!  The inspiration for The Lynhall came from her years living in London and experiencing European style cafes.  The restaurant is counter service and there are long community tables for seating.  Do not fret–if you are the stereotypical Minnesotan who likes to keep to themselves there are smaller tables too!  Anne mentioned that the long tables are very prevalent in London and as a young mom in a new city she loved the conversations she had with strangers.  Minnesotans have been a little slow to the long table concept but she thinks it will catch on.

The Lynhall is not merely a place to get a great meal–it also has an Incubator Kitchen for aspiring small food businesses and The Linney Studio, a state-of-the art kitchen studio space that is camera ready for recording videos, commercials, and more.  There is also rentable private dining space for events–like ours!  Anne said what is most “Instagramable” about The Lynhall is usually their bathrooms!  They are decorated in different bird wallpapers and selfies in their bathrooms are the most popular pictures taken at The Lynhall.


Members and guests attending The Lynhall event were treated to a delicious charcuterie platter including variety of meats and cheeses, delicious freshly made bread from their bakery, short rib sliders, and an amazing pea soup.  The coffee and cookies were worth saving some room for!  When everyone had their fill of food we were treated to a tour of the facility.  We were all wowed at the incredible kitchen studio space! 


At the conclusion of our event, we presented Anne with a donation to the recently established The Long Table Fund.  The Long Table Fund “works in partnership with the community to connect and empower those in the restaurant industry affected by trauma, mental health issues, and chemical dependency. Proceeds of The Long Table Fund will provide mission-specific educational opportunities and increased access to crisis mental health care for members of the restaurant industry.”  In May they are starting a Nourish series that will feature speakers related to the mission of The Long Table Fund.  The first event is May 4th “Nutrition, Nourishment and Optimal Mental Health”.  


News Roundup: Food & Wine Dish of the Year, Trend Reports, and MAFCS Geo 5 Networking Meeting

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Here are a few things from the food and consumer science world!

  • Minneapolis Grand Café honored with Food and Wine’s Dish of the Year, The Paris-Brest!  Read all about it here
  • Suzy Badaracco of Culinary Tides was our featured speaker at our annual meeting in 2016.  Her company has a trend report now available and at a discounted price until April 21.  Click here for more info
  • FCS Professionals are invited to attend the MAFCS Geo 5 Networking meeting on Wednesday, May 23 at 3:30 p.m.  For more information and registration, click here 


March Meeting Recap: Webinar “Serving It Allergy Free”

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On March 20th, we held our  first webinar “Serving It Allergy Free” hosted by our very own Debra Zwiefelhofer RDN, LD.  The webinar was complimentary for FCS Professionals and attendees received one hour of continuing education credit in the comfort of their own homes. 

What is a food allergy?  It is an abnormal response to a normal food.  The protein in the food item is the “enemy” and the body’s immune system is triggered.  This reaction may be immediate or could be hours after exposure and the reaction can range from mild to severe.  Also the reaction must be repeatable to be considered a true allergy.  The reaction can vary between oral discomfort (itching, swelling, hives), abdominal discomfort with digestion (vomiting, bloating, diarrhea), or in the bloodstream (drop in blood pressure, hives, eczema, or wheezing).  The most severe reaction is anaphylaxis which accounts for two hundred deaths annually in the United States.

A food intolerance or sensitivity is different from an allergy in that the reaction is not due to the protein in food and the response is not related to the body’s immune system.  The response may be due to an absence of chemicals or enzymes to digest a food (think lactose intolerance), an inability to absorb nutrients, or could be pharmacologic (a natural/artificial food chemical sensitivity).  The response can be less obvious and can be dose or exposure dependent.  Symptoms vary greatly and affect different parts of the body:.  Skin: rash, hives, dermatitis, eczema  Respiratory: nasal congestion, sinusitis, throat irritation, asthma, cough  GI: mouth ulcers, cramping, nausea, gas, diarrhea, IBS.

So how can you tell the difference?  Deb described a food allergy as the body at war against the food.  An intolerance is when the body doesn’t know how to deal with a food.  

Oral Allergy Syndrome is when an allergy to pollen creates a raw food reaction because the proteins are similar.  The reaction is localized to the mouth/oral cavity/throat.   Usually the reaction is to a raw food and often the same food item is tolerated when it is cooked.  

The top food allergens in the US are eggs, cow’s milk, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat.  Deb spent time going through each of the top allergies.  

Can we prevent food allergies?  In the past, there have been recommendations for pregnant women to restrict certain foods and also for breastfeeding moms.  That advice is no longer given.  When introducing foods to infants, it is also no longer recommended to avoid foods like peanut butter, but finding that it is better to introduce small amounts earlier.  

As professionals, what do we need to know to protect our customers and patients?  Food labeling laws state that labels must use common names for allergens i.e. sodium caseinate (milk), any ingredient source must be disclosed, species must be declared for nuts, fish and shellfish i.e. tree nuts (almonds).  To be labeled gluten free, no gluten, free of gluten, or without gluten the food must not contain: an ingredient that is a gluten containing grain, and ingredient derived from a gluten containing grain unless it has been processed to remove the gluten.  There are certain foods that are not subject to the labeling law including raw foods (whole fruits and vegetables), foods approved as exempt (highly refined peanut and soy oils), molluscan shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels, scallops).  Deb warned that when it comes to labeling, it is “buyer beware” as any law is only as good as the ability to enforce it.  It can be particularly tricky with imported goods–they are supposed to follow the rules of the destination country but that does not always happen.  Deb said it’s similar with the old food safety saying, “When in doubt throw it out!”.  With food labeling, if you are in doubt–leave it out!  Better to err on the side of caution when it comes to food allergies.  Deb also reminded the group that it is not enough to just buy the right foods.  Cross-contamination is an issue with food allergies.  The majority of fatal allergic reactions occur outside the home and desserts are the biggest culprit in the nut/peanut reactions.  How can we prevent these reactions?  1. Know ingredients in prepared foods/recipes (know that ingredients change–check often!)  2. The identification of a food allergy should ignite a process in any eating venue 3. Know what to do in the event of an allergic reaction.  Deb ended her presentation with this closing thought, “It’s not necessarily our task to distinguish  between allergies, intolerances and aversions.  If an individual doesn’t want a particular food item, it is our job to avoid serving it to them.”