For Human Nutrition thread

Hello S Snyder I’m trying to puts this to the Human Nutrition thread and can’t - are you able to guide me? Stacia

I’m not sure how I missed this important discussion. I’m Stacia Nordin, a Registered Dietitian working on environment, culture, and agriculture through permaculture design in Malawi since 1997. I met ECHO in 2013 because of nutrition.

I have caught up on a year of your posts and connect with so many - its a whole food system that needs to shift - not just the raising or processing or eating - all of it!

I cringe when I hear ‘Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture’ and think - Absolutely NOT! Agriculture is the primary source of our nutrition and should not be relegated to something merely sensitive. Sensitive sounds secondary. The Lancet’s health centric research approach took us in a wrong direction when they divided up nutrition into specific and sensitive. It’s ok for research but not ok for life. We need language and actions that put nutrition central to our agriculture and food systems. What we say, and how we frame things, does matter.

For me the heart of the matter is mindset. I am disappointed at the way organisations promote their own species in foreign lands instead of celebrating and raising the status of indigenous foods. I am also dismayed about bio-fortification and fortification; seeds do not need to change - people and systems need to change. Organizations keep developing approaches that avoid the root causes of the issues instead of working on the issues.

Sure, it isn’t easy, it takes working closely with people, starting with them where they are (as Mark raises), but the excitement on health food systems for people, environment and economy is infectious and does grow. Joel touches on this with the point on nostalgia.

I"m heartened at the strategies I read in your posts on improving eating habits and the Rotary example I’d never heard of. I got on their site and downloaded resources and contacted them already. My work is most like yours and I can’t believe we’ve not yet met!

I have a few hats as a Dietitian and Permaculturists.

Our Permaculture home is open to anyone to visit and we regularly get groups coming to learn about sustainable design. We wrote a book with the World Food Programme titled the Sustainable Nutrition Manual which is in its second edition. It focuses on learning about why to eat healthy and then how to eat healthy using sustainable design. There are 600 foods highlighted in the books (Plants, trees, fungi, animals, and insects).

I currently work with University of Illinois on the Feed the Future Strengthening Agricultural and Nutrition Extension activity - we are just wrapping up 5 years of work. We maintain a dropbox of resources from our work as well as what we’ve collected along our learning journey: USAID-funded Feed the Future Malawi Strengthening Agricultural & Nutrition Extension (SANE) Agriculture Extension Resources (inclusive of Nutrition, Environment, Gender and COVID-19),

Looking forward to interacting with you all!


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