Contributed by Amber Johnson, Director of Marketing & Communications at Lentils.org
3 Reasons Immersive Food Journey Experiences Offer Superior Learning & Inspiration Opportunities
This summer, Lentils.org welcomed 22 foodservice operators and manufacturers to the heart of lentil growing country: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. 90% of Canada’s lentils are grown in Saskatchewan and Canada is the world’s largest exporter of lentils. The program could not be replicated over the past two years until the return of in-person events, and it was a testament to deeply engaging learning experiences that are unmatched without the ability to see, feel, and surround yourself with the subject. This is especially relevant with an industry that is often not fully understood, or at least not one that most people have the opportunity to expose themselves to.
As I reflect on the tour and program now that it is wrapped up, there are three reasons that I believe this specific tour and ones like it are some of the most valuable in one’s career and an absolute must-attend if you ever get the chance.
1. Immersive: Learn, see, feel, and surround yourself with the topic – especially those that showcase concepts or in this case an ingredient, that is produced far from where you live or work. They are a great way to expand your knowledge and create new encounters. Photos and videos are great, but nothing beats the experience of standing in a lentil field with nothing else around and only the horizon to see in every direction for miles and miles. You can’t replicate pulling a lentil plant out of the ground to inspect its root system or eating a fresh lentil out of the small green pod in a classroom or through a webinar (believe us, we have tried).
2. No Distractions - Take the time to fully immerse yourself and truly make the time for the learning experience. Speaking of webinars, does anyone actually watch them without doing at least a few other things at the same time anymore? Yes, blocking that time away from the office can be tough and even stressful, but once you get to your destination and into the action I don’t think anyone ever regrets it.
3. Relationships you will never forget – Less about the topic itself, but definitely an overall benefit is that no one ever forgets the group of people with whom they experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure! Connections one makes are surely ones that will remain intact for a long time – as colleagues, confidants, and people who we will seek out and see on the road at various events in the future. We will all come together to talk about “that time we were all on a lentil farm together”.
Read more about the tour and its stops including lentil research and breeding plots, a full-scale farming operation, primary and secondary processing, food product innovation, and culinary exercises in our full tour wrap-up here.
For more information on Canadian lentils and how they can help grow sales at your foodservice operation, contact Amber Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you're interested in growing your foodservice sales, contact us here at Cutting Edge Innovation.