What can the RD designation be worth?

[I originally published this post a year (and three days) ago, but I'm bumping it to the top because it fits the thread of discussion kindled by Michele Simon's Eat Drink Politics report of last week.]

Based on my early experience with them, and on what I've heard from others of their experiences, I have long held opprobrium for registered dietitians. But it has recently bubbled over again.

Democrats serve better school food than Republicans

According to research by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, the declared politics of school districts is an excellent predictor of their school-nutrition policies. Democrats, which generally believe in the power of government to improve lives, institute policies for better nutrition. And Republicans, who generally believe in the primacy of the marketplace, put fewer strictures on what can be sold to schoolchildren.

We are responsible when schools serve crappy food

if a school district wasn’t using crossing guards and parents learned this, how long would it be before the outcry made sure that crossing guards were on duty?

If noxious chemicals were being left out in the chemistry labs and parents found out, how long would it be before safeguards and monitoring was in place? Would the teacher(s) responsible even keep their jobs?

And yet, when schools serve children meals after meals of crap — pizza, fries every day, ketchup as a vegetable, whatever — the knee-jerk is to blame the schools.

Please Mr. Big Food, add less "value"

In my previous post, I described how my farm stand thanked its first 200 patrons, three days in a row, with a goody bag in celebration of a pavilion it opened. Because a large curly head of lettuce filled the open end of the bag, I assumed (incorrectly) that it all was produce and was disappointed to learn when I got home that it was the only produce: The other five things were all dependent on processed sugar.

Food revolution in Concord

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

I wrote about food in the Concord schools (and Concord Carlisle High School) for the Boston Globe in a story published this morning. Led by Alden Cadwell, a top adviser to Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution when the show made its splash in Huntington, W.Va., the district has a goal of making all food from scratch within five years, and sourcing at least 30 percent of its ingredients from local farms within that same window.

Michigan may discard licensing for dietitians

A while ago I tweeted a Forbes article which asked whether the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly known as the American Dietetic Association, was seeking to eliminate competition by proposing dozens of state laws that would further codify who can give nutritional advice and provide stiff penalties for those who do so without the imprimatur of AND.

Gussow in '79: Current AND ahead of her time

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

In 1979, I was over 300 pounds, a daily pot smoker, and about to piss away my opportunity to graduate  with my college class by blowing off two courses in my last semester. Joan Gussow was already preaching a gospel of healthy, sustainable food that I would have ignored had I known about it at the time. Somehow, it makes me more appreciative of it now.

Is "gluten-free" healthy? Who to ask?

I avoid celebrity news like the plague it is, but I found a couple of angles to discuss in this story about Miley Cyrus, which popped up on a Google Alert I have running for mentions of eating disorders.

The gist is that Cyrus has lost weight, forcing her Sunday to address rumors that she has an eating disorder. According to that impeccable source Us magazine, she tweeted,

Globesity, malnutrition, and other joys of processed food

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

I wrote recently about Olivier de Schutter, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food, whose report rings many of same bells I and others have been sounding for a while.

In a webinar on April 19, he will be discussing his report and related topics with Dr. David Wallinga and Karen Hansen-Kuhn, both of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

Here's the full text of the notice I got: 


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