AMES, Iowa – As public interest in regional food systems expands, both consumers and the nutrition professionals who work with them can be confused by social issues, food safety and access, and other concerns related to these often complex arrangements. Current Issues in Nutrition, a two-part online conference from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, takes a closer look at why and how nutrition professionals can get involved with regional food systems.
The conference begins with presentations that will be available online, starting Friday, April 13, said Sarah Francis, an Iowa State University assistant professor and ISU Extension and Outreach nutrition specialist. Registered participants may view the presentations online anytime after they have registered. The conference concludes with a live webcast question and answer session Tuesday, May 15 from 12-1:30 p.m. CDT. To participate, register online at www.cpm.iastate.edu/cin before May 15. The registration fee is $35 per person.
Registered participants will be emailed instructions for viewing the online presentations and participating in the live question and answer session, Francis said.
The conference is of particular interest to registered dietitians, nutritionists, family consumer science educators, certified dietary managers and health care professionals, Francis said.
Featured speakers for the conference are Keecha Harris, principal of KHA Inc., a public health consulting firm based in Birmingham, Alabama, and Michael Hamm, the C. S. Mott Professor of Sustainable Agriculture at Michigan State University.
Harris will discuss the relationships between community and regional food systems, as well as the values of sustainable agriculture. She’ll also provide examples of regional food systems that are economically viable, environmentally sound and socially just, and that increase access to healthy food.
Hamm will address the primary components of a regional food system as they relate to the current global food system. He’ll also discuss reasons for engaging in regional food system work within a dietetics framework and describe current activities that are under way nationally.