Monthly Archives: February 2007

What to eat?

What should we eat to promote not simply our own wellbeing, but also the health and sustainability of the environment?

Here are some of the resources I will be consulting for guidance:

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappe and Anne Blythe Lappe
The 100 Mile Diet
Farm Folk/City Folk’s Knowledge Pantry


An alternative food guide

Recently, I came across an extremely concise food guide presented as a brief directive with two qualifying phrases: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” This is how Michael Pollan begins his New York Times Magazine’s essay on what to eat for good health. In the remainder of this article, he elaborates on how the ideology of “nutritionism” has created a “conspiracy of confusion” about what we should we eat to be healthy and suggests nine unscientific (his own word) rules of thumb.

Pollan counters the reductionist-scientific perspective with guidelines grounded in culture, tradition and food-sense. I’m tempted to share excerpts of his witty and convincing prose, but will restrain myself– except I can’t resist including this statement from his rule about health claims: “Don’t take the silence of the yams as a sign that they have nothing valuable to say about health.”

Link to Unhappy Meals by Michael Pollan

More about Canada’s Food Guide

Yesterday I suggested a couple of starting points for learning about the Food Guide. Here is another place to begin.

I just finished the guided tour, which highlights the Guide’s main features and key messages. The tour is short, easy to understand, pleasant to look at it — very effective. And, it makes me want to explore the rest of Food Guide web site. I think I might even feel this way even if I, as a dietitian, didn’t have a vested interest in the topic!

Eating well with the new Canada’s Food Guide

Today, Health Canada released the latest version of Canada’s Food Guide. For the past few weeks, Dietitians of Canada (DC) has kept its membership up-to-date on the pending release and this morning issued its own statement by email and on the website News Room. It provides a concise overview of the new and improved features of our national food guide, now called Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide. Thank you, DC, for making sure we were well-prepared for the release.

Health Canada has created a highly-interactive web site to explain and demonstrate its features. If you’re unsure where to begin, why not join me and we’ll follow the rainbow together.

Background. I was tempted to begin with the Educators and Communicators page so I would know how to use the Guide in my practice, but I also was curious about the story behind this revision as well as what’s different from previous versions so I started reading here. For professionals, probably either page is a good entry point.

Reading the Food Guide’s history and seeing the previous versions are fascinating. What is the earliest edition of the Food Rules/Food Guide you remember learning? I recall seeing the 1977 version (sun surrounded by the wheel of food groups) in my high school Home Economics class.

Details about the evidence base and revision process are here and here.

There is a lot to digest with the new Food Guide — pardon the pun — and in the days to come, I’ll be devoting a few blog posts to its features.

Mission, Values & Vision — Oh, my!

As in “lions and tigers and bears–oh, my!” What am I getting into?

I usually operate at the level of activities, and when I’m really disciplined about planning, I will develop objectives. But a highly-respected blogging resource recommends giving careful thought to your blogging mission, values and vision. In other words: why are you blogging, what values guide your blogging and what do you hope to achieve with your blogging? I agree it’s wise to articulate these rather than assume your readership can determine them from what is and is not on your blog.

So here are my higher level statements:

Why am I blogging? (aka Mission)
To record and share resources.

What values guide my blogging?
1. Honesty and fairness in gathering, reporting and interpreting information. This includes acknowledging all sources and admitting mistakes and correcting them promptly. “Tell the truth.”
2. Respect for others’ opinions and feelings. “Don’t be mean.”
3. My professional association’s Code of Ethics, particularly “to support the advancement and dissemination of nutritional and related knowledge and skills.” “Share the wealth.”

What do I hope to achieve with this blog? (aka Vision)
(1) discovery and learning
(2) a stronger community of dietetic practice

Functions of a blog: #3) Strengthening a Community of Practice


I love this photo. I searched and searched for an image to depict people interacting– communicating, connecting and caring.

Image credit: Touch, a Creative Commons licensed photo by chrisevans on Flickr.