Organic Talking Points

Spring 2015

New Professional Resource for Dietitians

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group (HEN DPG) is pleased to announce the publication of the “Organic Talking Points for Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs).” 

 Sir Albert Howard’s The Soil and Health, urges that we understand “the whole problem of health in soil, plant, animal, and man as one great subject.” RDNs play a unique and pivotal role in promoting food and water systems that not only optimize nutrition and health, but advance environmental stewardship, economic vitality and social and cultural capital.

According to HEN DPG Past Chair, Ashley Colpaart, MS, RD, “As the food and nutrition experts, we must help people understand that eating takes place inescapably in the world and that decisions of what to eat determines how we use and care for the world. This is the underpinning of Wendell Berry’s famous quote, “Eating is an agricultural act,” meaning we need to transition people from viewing food as an agricultural product, to thinking of themselves as participants in agriculture.”

Understanding the benefits of organic agriculture is more complex than comparing nutrient density of products. In an effort to empower Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) to speak with confidence and competence on the evidence surrounding organic food production, members of the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Dietetics Practice Group (HEN) have synthesized the most current research into easy-to-use Talking Points. The Organic Talking Points are designed to inform RDNs about key issues surrounding organic food production in the following four areas:

• Food labeling regulations
• Requirements for crops and livestock production
• Demonstrated benefits to human, environmental and community health, as well as food safety
• Gaps and areas of unsettled science where further research is merited