Every other year, the Oregon Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics hosts Oregon Legislative Day, where RDNs, NDTRs and dietetic interns across Oregon are invited to meet at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem, OR meet with their legislators, communicate the role of RDN/NDTRs and advocate for nutrition-related policy.
Using their power in numbers, nutritionists from all over the state congregate for an educational session around public policy and the opportunity to meet with their legislators. Additionally, representatives from the OAND Policy Team and interns from Oregon Health and Science University and Oregon State University create educational displays to share about the role of RDN/NDTRs as the experts in food and nutrition. This year, the theme for the educational displays was “Reducing Food Waste”.
The interns from OHSU utilized resources from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Future of Food Initiative and Forward Eating to educate legislators and community members about how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by choosing sustainable food options, how an increasing food waste burden affects our planet, and how to apply systems thinking to sustainability initiatives in the food system. Interns participating in the display encouraged those passing by to interact with the display by sharing their thoughts for reducing food waste and easing the burden on our planet.
The display was well-received by participants and interns. Participation in Legislative Day was both an assigned activity for OHSU students and a pilot learning activity for the developing Sustainable, Resilient, and Healthy Food and Water Systems curriculum for dietetic students and interns through the Academy Foundation. Interns provided feedback that involvement in the Reducing Food Waste Display reminded them of their responsibility to consider sustainability while making nutrition recommendations as future RDNs.
Article written by Lauren M. Burns, Dietetic Intern at OHSU Graduate Programs in Human Nutrition