May 2011 Awareness Month: Celiac
May is Celiac Awareness Month. But what can you do to participate? A few ideas to get you started.
– Head down to the brand new Ottawa Convention Centre this weekend (May 13-15) for the Canadian Celiac Association’s 30th annual conference, featuring top-notch speakers, loads of vendors and the latest and greatest in gluten-free foods. Expert speakers, drawn from across North America, include Dr. Daniel Leffler of Harvard University; Dr. Peter Green of Columbia University; Dr. Jon Meddings of the University of Calgary; and Dr. Ted Malahias, a dentist and frequent speaker on dental abnormalities in celiac disease. Also, Ottawa residents do stop by on Saturday afternoon, when the public is invited to the vendor area, which features booths from celiac-friendly companies, especially food manufacturers with loads of samples. And be sure to visit the Allergic Living booth!
– Bring the whole family to a night of gluten-free food and fabulous fashion on May 19. All proceeds from the Catwalk for Celiac in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey support the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. The NFCA has other events going on, too. Check out its website for a variety of ideas to raise awareness and funds, including simple ways to leverage Facebook and Twitter. Learn more, or donate to the cause, here.
– The Gluten-Free Challenge, created by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), runs May 20 to 22. GIG challenges everyone to spend one weekend living completely gluten-free. What an excellent way to support your celiac friends and learn what it’s like to live without gluten in your diet. Learn more here.
– The ball got rolling on May 4, with 1 in 133, the Gluten Free Food Labeling Summit held in Washington, D.C. Capitol Hill legislators, celiac disease researchers, gluten-free community leaders and food corporation were in attendance. The event featured the world’s largest gluten-free cake (it was 11 feet tall and weighed more than 2,000 pounds!), created to bring extra attention to this important event. The purpose of 1in133 was ultimately to raise awareness of the fact that clear, accurate and reliable labeling plays a huge role in the lives of people dependent on labeling for their well-being. Read Gwen Smith’s blog post about outcome of the event here.