‘Food At The Centre’, the theme of the 2013 Critical Dietetics conference, is an abbreviation of our working philosophy, “Food at the centre of a dietetics curriculum,” in the School of Nutrition and Dietetics (SND) at Acadia University. That is, in the SND, we make an effort throughout the entire curriculum to relate what students are learning to food… we bring considerations of food into almost all courses offered by the SND. By addressing food from a number of perspectives, our hope is that graduates will think about how what they do connects to food and how they can incorporate food into their work in whatever sort of career they pursue. This is often a role in health and human services; our graduates pursue careers in dietetics and many other fields including as teachers, physicians, social workers, dentists, nurses, farmers, food product developers, sales representatives, and more). Some of what students learn about is where food comes from, the stories of people involved in producing food, access to food, food preparation, food as the vehicle to meet nutritional needs, and environmental, political, economic, social, and historical aspects of food. Students in the SND complete a project at the local Wolfville Farmers’ Market, they have opportunities to work with local chefs in food product development, they prepare and taste food, they ‘meet and greet’ the public by demonstrating and sharing samples of locally produced commodities, and they prepare and try foods to meet special dietary needs, including celiac disease (gluten-free).
By hosting the 2013 Critical Dietetics conference, we want to share our excitement about the work we are doing here at Acadia University by inviting our colleagues to put food at the centre of the conference. The response has been outstanding! Abstracts received thus far have embraced the theme and colleagues have expressed excitement to have the opportunity to think about food as it relates to dietetics. We are excited they are excited!
Situated here in the gorgeous Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, we look forward to hosting the 2013 Critical Dietetics conference right at the start of harvest time! Food cannot help but be at the centre of what will be going on locally. We are planning opportunities for those in attendance to experience local food, and are working with the Farmers’ Market (www.wolfvillefarmersmarket.ca) and local wineries/eateries as potential venues for conference activities. We look forward to the opportunity to host conference delegates to three days of enjoying putting food at the centre!
Catherine Morley, PhD, PDt, FDC
Barb Anderson, PDt, MAdEd, FDC
Professor and Director
School of Nutrition and Dietetics