Public Health Workers and Students Must March for Science on April 22, 2017 or Risk Making Ryan Gosling Sad

As the last post for my nutrition class, I would like to invite my public health brothers and sisters to march for a good cause. This Saturday, April 22nd from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm, I will be marching for Science. As as a worker and student of public health, I find it my duty to make sure that we show support and celebrate the … Continue reading Public Health Workers and Students Must March for Science on April 22, 2017 or Risk Making Ryan Gosling Sad

So you want to eat healthier at work?

Remember Cynthia? Well, she’s a great co-worker, and you enjoy her company. It’s just that in her effort to reward the team with a good week’s work, she brings her famous 5-layer chocolate cake most Fridays for your team’s end-of-week meeting. You want to eat healthier, but it’s tough changing your eating behaviors when your immediate work environment is not conducive to positive eating behavior. … Continue reading So you want to eat healthier at work?

Count Snackula and Healthy Vending in the Workplace

I get it. It’s 2:30 in the afternoon and you can hear something growling. It’s your stomach. It’s different for each of us. Some people’s hungry tummies’ sound like one of those creaky doors reminiscent of granny’s old house, or like an angry lion, or like one of those unintelligible sounds the undead makes in zombie movies. You are hungry, and you want to eat. … Continue reading Count Snackula and Healthy Vending in the Workplace

Channeling my inner Farmer John this Summer…maybe

Here’s the deal: I am a frustrated urban farmer. I am frustrated because I have no space to plant fruits and vegetables in the Summer and since I live in Michigan, we have a relatively short growing season. Come to think of it, I am not really even sure if you would call me a farmer. Maybe farmer-esque? Farmer-ish? How about pretend farmer? Whatever the … Continue reading Channeling my inner Farmer John this Summer…maybe

Orange is the New Black, and Sorghum is the New Quinoa?

So I was in a meeting today with a bunch of public health professionals when the conversation turned towards what new diets my co-workers are in. Admittedly, as a veteran of diet fads, the conversation piqued my interest. Ten years ago, despite having a healthy weight and an active lifestyle, I said goodbye to carbohydrates and said hello piles of meat for breakfast, meat for … Continue reading Orange is the New Black, and Sorghum is the New Quinoa?

New Nutrition Facts Label to be Delayed?

Then First Lady, Michelle Obama, and the Federal Drug Administration announced in March 2016 an improved version of the nutrition label that will be used on products nation-wide (The Office of the First Lady, 2016). As both a student and a public health professional, I was very excited about the change because the label is said to reflect the most current science. Most of all, the … Continue reading New Nutrition Facts Label to be Delayed?

A Student’s Reflection on the USDA Memo Regarding the Public Facing Documents Controversy

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On January 25th, The Washington Post published a memorandum sent by the Agricultural Research Services to its workers stating “starting immediately and until further notice, ARS will not release any public-facing documents. This includes, but is not limited to, news releases, photos, fact sheets, news feeds, and social media content” (DelReal, 2017). The memorandum has caused flurries of social media posts from Science Magazine, to Buzzfeed, to The Hill, and rebuttals from decidedly conservative websites such as the Daily Caller.   Following clarifications from the United States Department of Agriculture, the email memorandum has since been rescinded owing to the email not having been officially given guidance from the United States Department of Agriculture (DelReal, 2017). Michael Young, the USDA acting deputy administrator, also clarified that the memorandum he drafted (not from the ARS), is fairly standard practice during administration transition (DelReal, 2017).

But why did the memorandum caused such a commotion? Some point to Trump’s poor handling of appointees and some call the memo a gag order. What is most important however is to pay attention to any information coming from the ARS or any arm of the USDA. Here are the two reasons, I think, why public health professionals and citizens should be vigilant about what is happening at the USDA.

The USDA is a large organization with a far-ranging mission and responsibilities.

The Department provides guidance and technical expertise in the area of food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development and nutrition (Agriculture, 2017). Any recommendations provided by the USDA has real-life consequences for public health professionals and citizens alike. You remember the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans? Those guidelines are partly developed by the USDA. Those guidelines are used as the basis by the government to implement nutrition-related programs and interventions. Continue reading “A Student’s Reflection on the USDA Memo Regarding the Public Facing Documents Controversy”