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This webinar was presented live on April 14, 2022.
This report aims to deepen the discussion about the connections between agriculture, food, human health, and environmental health and positions the burgeoning movement to take strategic action. Our paper explores the evidence connecting agriculture and broader food system activities to human health outcomes and in reviewing this evidence from field to body, we are left with a number of summary reflections, namely that growing more nutritious food does influence human health, but that we have a lot of work to do to transform systems and maximize the potential that more nutritious food has to offer in the realm of human health. While this may seem to be a relatively common-sense conclusion, we also see a food system that has been built on delivering a large volume of calories, not necessarily nutrition (from the perspective of macronutrients, micronutrients, and bioactive compounds).
During this webinar, we will review the key points from the paper and discuss the action steps necessary to strengthen the movement that will rebuild both human health and soil health.
CPE Level: 2
Performance Indicators: 8.1, 12.1, 12.4
- Feel inspired to consider what role dietetics professionals can play in transforming food and agriculture systems
- Gain a deeper understanding of the connections between agriculture and human health.
- Embrace the idea that the connections are complex and dynamic.
David LeZaks, Ph.D.
David LeZaks, Ph.D., Senior Fellow at Croatan Institute, is an environmental scientist and financial activist whose work is centered around developing innovative mechanisms for financing the transition to agroecological farming and food systems. Before joining Croatan Institute, Dr. LeZaks led the Regenerative Food Systems initiative at Delta Institute in Chicago, where he managed a portfolio of projects that focused on the design and deployment of disruptive mechanisms to unlock substantial capital flows into regenerative agriculture. Previously, he served as an RSF Social Finance Integrated Capital Institute fellow. He is based in Madison, Wisconsin, where he is active in a number of community organizations and spends his spare time gardening and participating in a variety of silent sports.
Mandy Ellerton, MSW
Mandy Ellerton, MSW, is an independent consultant focused on food and healthcare systems transformation. She recently concluded nine years at the Bush Foundation, a place-based, private foundation in the Midwest. As a senior leader at the Foundation, she created and led the groundbreaking Community Innovation programs that funded cross-sector social innovation projects focused on advancing equity in a variety of fields. Mandy came to the Foundation from Grassroots Solutions, national grassroots organizing and strategy firm where she led both legislative advocacy projects and strategy consulting for foundations and the private sector. Mandy holds a master's degree in social work from the University of Minnesota, with a concentration in community organizing, and a B.A. degree from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn. She is also a trained nutritional therapist. She was named one of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal's "40 Under 40" awardees in 2020; named a Fellow in RSF Social Finance's 2018-2019 Integrated Capital Institute; and selected for the Young American Leaders Program at Harvard Business School in 2016.
Erin Meyer, MSFS, RD
Erin Meyer, MSFS, RD is a mom, dietitian, chef, and food systems professional who believes that food system change begins with your food story. One of Erin's food memories is watching her great-aunt on Christmas eve taste prosciutto, that she raised and cured, close her eyes, and say, "just like mama's." Erin's life's food stories have guided her to where she is today. Her 30+ years of experience in healthcare education, nonprofit leadership, relationship building, and collaborative work with farmers, culinary and health professionals, and food system experts have given Erin the gift of creating Basil's Harvest. Basil's Harvest is a nonprofit that exists to nurture a more healthful, equitable, and resilient food system by lifting up the critical connections between the health of people, farms, and soil. Take a moment to close your eyes and visualize your food story - It's powerful.