The GFAF Expo is all about gluten-free food, but there were a lot of exhibitors there that weren't talking about food, at least not from a manufacturing standpoint. These were exhibitors who were making the lives of those who are gluten-free and those who are looking to lead healthier lives a little easier.
Here are my top 5 best new non-food products from the Secaucus GFAF Expo 2016.
1. The Rachel Way Gluten & Dairy Free Food Pantry
This is a food pantry exclusively for those on gluten-free and dairy-free diets who are already struggling to make ends meet. Purchasing specialty foods is expensive, and this food pantry aims to provide those foods free of charge so that people do not let themselves get sick simply because they cannot afford the foods they need. The Rachel Way Food Pantry started in September 2015 in Pennsylvania with hopes to expand to other communities.
If you're looking for a community of other eaters like yourself, then check out Freedible. This online community helps connect people with food allergies so that recipes and advice and more can be shared. It's a way for you to discover new foods that you CAN eat!
3. Mello Mae Yoga Mats
When I think of yoga, I don't think of chemicals. I think of things that are natural and good for you. And that's where Mello Mae yoga mats come in. These mats are made from jute, which adds an earth-driven feel to your yoga practice while also giving you better grip, traction, comfort, and support. And for every yoga mat sold, the company makes a $1 donation to a rotating roster of charities.
I first saw the Nima portable gluten food tester at last year's Expo, and it's finally available for pre-sale now to the public. (You can see what the device looks like in the picture below. It's the small thing next to the cute plush character version of the sensor.) This allows you to test liquids and solids when you're dining out to make sure that the gluten-free food you ordered really is gluten-free. A sensor for dairy and a sensor for peanuts are next on the list!
5. Generation GF
There are a lot of support groups for adults with Celiac disease, but what if you're a kid with Celiac disease? Then you can join Generation GF, a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group, that aims to give kids confidence and help them develop into future gluten-free community leaders. There are groups across the nation that provide safe environments where kids can just have fun while also learning how to cope with the needs and challenges they face every day.