Nutrition Professionals as Environmental Stewards and Climate Champions (2022 Mar)

Mary Purdy, MS, RDN

This is an excerpt of a blog post on the Planetary Health Collective site written by Mary Purdy, MS, RDN:

“The intersection of the food system, the environment and human health is nothing short of complex, but as experts in the food and nutrition space, we have an incredible opportunity (and obligation) to be trailblazers in the fight around climate change.  

No matter what sector of the nutrition field we work in, we can exert our influence in many areas, from individual and institutional food consumption to national level food policy. Whether we work with what’s being eaten, how it’s being grown or how it’s being disposed of, we can make a difference.  If you write, speak publicly or have an online platform, you can use it to educate on and promote these ideas and to make plant based food look as delicious as humanly possible.  If you are in academia, you can incorporate issues of sustainability and regenerative agriculture into any and all aspects of your curriculum.  

Again, as systems thinkers and those with a vested interest in human wellness, we cannot separate a healthy foods system from a healthy biological or eco-system. The good news is that the foods that are healthy for humans are usually those that have a lighter environmental footprint [17].  It appears that once again, food is not only medicine for the person, but for the planet and nutrition professionals are leading the charge.”

Mary Purdy, MS, RDN is an award-winning integrative eco-dietitian and nutrition educator with a Master’s Degree from Bastyr University, where she is currently adjunct faculty. She has been in clinical practice for 13+ years using a personalized medicine and functional nutrition approach. She teaches and lectures for numerous Universities, institutions and professional educational platforms and presents regularly at national and state conferences on both nutrition and sustainability. She serves as the nutrition and sustainability adviser for Big Bold Health, hosts the podcasts “The Nutrition Show” and “The Good Clean Nutrition Podcast” and authored the books “Serving the Broccoli Gods” and “The Microbiome Diet Reset.” She is a sought-after speaker, consultant and community builder working with organizations to create a more sustainable, just and resilient food system.

Mary has amassed a myriad of scientific papers on a variety of topics on her website related to the impacts of our current industrial food and agricultural system and the effects it is having on human and planetary health.

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