Friday, March 20, 2009


Hello fellow foodies and activists alike! I inaugurate my participation with this blog (and oh so fabulous Kelly) with one single site:

This is Why You're Fat.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

New blogger - welcome Mercy!

I'd like to introduce Mercy Bell as my new co-author to this blog. I met Mercy through Oxfam Action Corps NYC, as we both attended the "End Poverty in My Name" campaign at the UN back in September 2008. She's an awesome friend, foodie, activist, musician, and a truly great person. I am excited for what this blog can be when we put our forces together! Welcome Mercy :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In Honor of National Registered Dietitian Day

On this second annual National Registered Dietitian Day, March 11, 2009, RD's on the blogosphere everywhere have come together for a "blogfest" to get the word out about the great work that RD's do. While I am not yet a Registered Dietitian, I plan to be within the next few years and definitely know and respect their work. I am a member of the American Dietetic Association's Hunger & Environmental Nutrition (HEN) Dietetic Practice Group and want to especially thank my HEN colleagues for always sharing their incredible, endless wealth of knowledge with others. The HEN-listserve has been and will continue to be a great window into the world of just, wholesome, sustainable food systems that I can only attempt to relay to the rest of blogging world. If you are a HEN member, thank you for all you do. If you are an RD or "RD2B," I encourage you to join HEN. It is a decision you will not regret. If you fit neither of these categories, please at least check out Ashley Colpaart's post on the US Food Policy blog: Dietitians Working in Food Policy, the New Frontier. She's not only described many of the great ways RD's are working to bring food back to its roots, but has also listed many other RD's blogs as part of the blogfest.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

See into communities & give people a voice with Photovoice

This is what it looks like when you give people in "bad neighborhoods" a voice. The culturally rich sense of community speaks for itself. Not what most people think of when you say "Harlem."

My East Harlem

Here's another great video:
Health Food Disparities in Upper Manhattan

Here's a video by teenagers in Philadelphia, entitled "It's a Healthy Habit":

While these videos give great insight into communities, just as big of an impact can be made by having participants take still photos and write captions to explain what the picture means to them. It's a sure way for anyone - even kids! - to feel empowered and feel that they have a voice to speak out to truth. Photovoice can be a very powerful tool in terms of advocacy and showing the final product to decisionmakers. In terms of public health nutrition, the idea is for children to take pictures of a health issue (such as food) and write about what this means to them. Photovoice was developed by Dr. Caroline Wang, working with women in a remote Chinese village. For a great example of the power of photovoice, see Photovoice: A Youth Empowering Program. . Rickie Brawer and the Philadelphia Urban Food and Fitness Alliance have also successfully used photovoice with adolescents. On another note, the technique has even been shown to improve dietary recall data from kids, who are more willing to cooperate when given technology such as cameras. Here are a few more articles about photovoice:
Goodhart FW, Hsu J, Baek JH, Coleman, Maresca FM, Miller MB. (2006). A view through a different lens: photovoice as a tool for student advocacy. J Am Coll Health. 55(1):53-6.
Strack RW, Magill C, McDonagh K. (2004). Engaging Youth Through Photovoice. Health Promotion Practice. 5(1):49-58.
Wang C., Yi WK, Tao ZW, Carovano K. (1998). Photovoice as a participatory health promotion strategy. Health Promotion International. 13(1):75-86.
Wang C., Burris MA. (1997). Photovoice: Concept, Methodology, and Use for Participatory Needs Assessment. Health Education & Behavior. 24(3):369-387.

The American Public Health Association is currently accepting applications for its Photo Journal Demonstration Project. Additionally, FamilyCook Productions has created a School Community Food Assessment toolkit that outlines how to use photovoice in schools to change the school food environment - it's pretty cool.