Roanna Martin

"make [food] simple and let things taste of what they are." {Curnonsky}

Leave a comment

Overly Inspired.

FNCE finished up on Tuesday, and oodles of ideas are dancing around my brain. I filled a reusable grocery bag with the handouts and information from the conference. Neatly categorized? Not so much, but available, for when I decide to revisit some of the topics that were discussed.

The conference center was overrun with dietitians- an overwhelmingly estrogen-rich population- wearing purple name badges and discussing and brainstorming and networking like it was their job.

Oh wait: it is their job.

I think one of the most beautiful roles of a dietitian is to connect people and communities with the information and resources that they need to make conscientious and healthful decisions about the food that they consume in order to maximize health.

That is a pretty broad statement, and there are a lot of avenues that this job can play out.

By the way, the opening session of FNCE featured Dean Karnazes, UltraMarathon Man. Incredibly inspiring. I had seen him featured in Runner’s World (a Rodale publication, interestingly enough) a few years ago, but it was awesome to hear him in person.

This is what Day 1 of the conference looked like for me:

“Community Influences to Enhance Childhood Overweight Interventions: Putting Research into Practice”.

• Social determinants of health lead to certain behaviors which in turn lead to health outcomes.

• We are strongly influenced by the environment in which we live.

• Additional information from the White House Child Obesity Task Force report can be found here.


“Tomorrow’s Culture Shock: What it Means for Health and Wellness”

• In 2012, there are 314 million people in the US with an average life expectancy of 78 years.

• In 2050, there are projected to be 439 million people with an 83 year life expectancy.

• The changing demographics in the future have a multitude of implications on healthcare and nutrition.


“Calling All Food Bloggers: Stay in the Game”

• It was great to learn from 2 dietitians who blog for the Food Network “Healthy Eats” blog.

• There were all sorts of tips for writing great blog posts- some of which I will try to implement in this intern blog, and others of which are probably more appropriate for a different style of a blog that I may write in the future.


“To Inflame or Not to Inflame: An Evidence-Based look at Omega-6 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids”

• There has been speculation that a high Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio in foods is linked to inflammation, but this theory has been discredited according to the latest research.

• According to human studies, there is no data to suggest that omega-6 causes inflammation.

• Basically what it comes down to is that inflammation is very complex, and pinpointing the condition on one small nutrient is useless (In my mind this is a “duh” observation- although great progresses have been made in nutrition science, there are so many things yet to be discovered. Chemical and hormonal pathways in the body are incredibly interwoven, and we can’t possibly break nutrients and foods into stark black and white.)

So, that was an overview of my Day 1. I’ll save more about the conference for future posts!


1 Comment

FNCE: Food and Nutrition Conference and Exposition

I am currently in Philadelphia, PA for one of the very largest gatherings of nutrition professionals in the country.

This event is put on by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and is an awesome networking event for dietitians and other food professionals.

This is my first FNCE to attend- and I’m very excited to be here.

The event officially kicked off this evening, but today I got to attend a pre-conference workshop that was right up my alley: a Rodale Farm Tour.

I’m a member of a dietetic practice group HEN (Hunger and Environmental Nutrition), which focuses on empowering members to be leaders in sustainable and accessible food and water systems. This practice emphasis lends itself well to partnership with organizations such as Rodale Institute.

Rodale Institute has been pioneering in the field of organic agriculture since 1947, and I’ve read a lot of their publications, so I was excited to visit the farm today.



Here, an organic dairy farmer from Vermont spoke to HEN members about herd management and health. The farmer who actually owns the herd was at a family reunion today, but it was great to get a perspective from a New Englander who is also a member of the Organic Valley Family of Farms Cooperative.




Here are the hard-working gals themselves. As a farm girl from Lancaster County, I was in my element in the rolling hills of southeast Pennsylvania. It was enjoyable to be there with a group of dietetics professionals from all over the country- Boston to LA.Image


The milking equipment is pictured below. Research on milk quality and profitability is underway as this farm has recently transitioned to an organic model. It sounds like there are some pretty exciting results that will come out of these studies- I’m hoping to see some news headlines by the end of the year, but I don’t want to give out a spoiler!



Zuma. Isn’t she beautiful?Image


The tour ended with a fabulous lunch with Maria Rodale- and she even gave us a copy of her book “Organic Manifesto”. Image

Dairy farming is hard work. It’s a struggle to make ends meet financially- and selling organic dairy products provides an option for a more livable income for family farmers.