I admit until this past year I hadn't given World Food Day much more than a passing thought. As a *clinical* dietitian working in an acute care hospital, I felt the annual observance highlighted important issues but didn't have direct relevance to my practice. After all, I'm occupied with nutrition support, dietetic intern education and patient food service issues as opposed to population or global hunger problems. But Dr. Elaine Power's statement in the DC news release reminded me:
“Registered dietitians have a role to advocate for social policies that address disparities and inequalities affecting the health of Canadian families.”
The personal message I take from this: think beyond the hospital walls. And I really don't have to expand my world-view very far. Extending my thoughts just a few blocks northeast from where I am sitting and typing brings me to a neighbourhood of extreme poverty and food insecurity, Vancouver's DTES, which you may have heard described as the "poorest postal code in Canada."
This month, as I work through the Continuing Competence Program (a requirement of my College), I've decided to include in my Professional Development Plan learning about global food security issues, including defining my role as an advocate for social change. Here are are the first learning resources I will be consulting:
DC's position papers
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations