Oldways President Sara Baer-Sinnott (left) and Kelly (Toups) LeBlanc, MLA, RD (right) speak regularly at conferences and events around the world. Contact us if you would like us to speak on food trends at your upcoming event. The topics below are just a sampling of possible speaking topics.

Health through Heritage

1. Pyramids vs. Plates: the Importance of Total Diet
Although MyPlate provides a yardstick for making wise choices at individual meals, well-designed food pyramids continue to play a key role in putting those meals in the context of a healthy overall diet. We’ll share intriguing studies that document the importance of total diet, and detail the factors that make for a successful food pyramid, using Oldways’ well-known family of Health through Heritage pyramids as illustrations.

2. Health through Heritage: A New Way to Inspire Better Eating Habits
Our notion of comfort food stretches back much further than our own childhoods. Learning about the good foods that sustained our ancestors can turn healthy eating from a dreaded ordeal to a source of connection and personal pride.  Drawing on Oldways’ two decades of work in promoting Health through Heritage, we’ll show how the “old ways” can change our relationship with food, now and in the future.

3. African Heritage and Health
Diabetes and heart disease do not need to be part of African Americans’ heritage, if they return to the foods of their roots. Beyond the fried chicken and biscuits-with-gravy that have recently been associated with Southern cooking lies a wealth of delicious tastes tied to cultural roots in Africa, the Caribbean, South America — and yes, the American South.  -Together these foods provide a wonderful model for healthy eating that’s inspiring and affordable. We’ll discuss a new approach to reducing the risk of chronic disease, using Oldways’ African Heritage Diet Pyramid and our Community Cooking Club materials.

4. The Mediterranean Diet and the Pleasures of the Table
What if you could eat satisfying amounts of delicious foods, without packing on the pounds? The best diet is the one you stick with for a lifetime, and repeated studies show that the Mediterranean Diet surpasses other approaches to healthy eating in its “ease of use.” We’ll detail sample menus and tips for easily incorporating the Mediterranean Diet into a range of lifestyles, from carnivore to vegetarian.

5. Common Ground: Found!
Even the experts don’t agree on what a ‘healthy diet’ is.” Or do they? In late 2015, Oldways organized an ambitious project to find out. We gathered 20 of the world’s top nutrition scientists and medical experts in one room, shut the door, and asked them to reach consensus on what constitutes healthy eating. Although their research ranged from Paleo to Vegan, and low-fat to Mediterranean, the group agreed on 11 points of consensus to guide those eager to know what’s good for us – and good for the planet. We’ll share highlights of the debate and conclusions from this remarkable event, along with Oldways’ practical tools for putting Common Ground into practice.

Whole Grains

1. A Public Health Success: America Switches to Whole Grains
Most healthy eating campaigns fall on deaf ears, but the switch to whole grains now underway is a shining exception. We’ll document the sea change in whole grains, detail the key factors that have made this happen — from consumer attitudes and education campaigns to government policy and product development — and discuss how this success could serve as a model for other healthy eating movements.  

2. Gluten Free Diets: Healthy or Hype?
Gluten-free diets are essential for people diagnosed with a gluten-sensitivity condition. But what about everyone else? With celebrities and athletes touting gluten-free and/or wheat-free lifestyles, it’s hard to separate the hard science from the hype. We’ll explain the real rise in gluten-sensitivity – and the surprising science that shows we can turn the tide.

3. Whole Grain Rich: Implementing the New School Food Rules
Starting in July 2012, half of all grain foods served in schools were required to be “whole grain rich;” two years later, virtually all grain foods were required meet this criterion. We’ll explain what “whole grain rich” means, and how your school district can determine which foods qualify. We’ll also share some surprising insights into kids’ attitudes towards food, to help you implement the whole grain-rich standard successfully.