After the Summer Practicum: A guest entry from Krista Fieselmann

Krista was one of 14 students who participated in Groundswell’s first college class, the Summer Practicum in Sustainable Farming and Local Food Systems. She caught up with Groundswell this past week to share a bit about where she is now- and relay some important reading material. Thanks Krista!

An update on me: After this week, my 1st semester of graduate studies in foods and nutrition will be completed! The program is really focused on practical application of the science of health and physiology and how it shapes policy, and life! So this was an exciting time for me, as the new dietary requirements from the government came out.  I spent a lot of time reading the papers that went into the decisions and discussing the their strengths and weaknesses.
The summer practicum really showed me that food choice and nutrition has a wide range of impacts, and the research that goes into discovering what those are is really developing, and freaking awesome! I wanted to share the findings of a recent speaker in the department with you. Dr. Kevin Hall was the speaker, and he came up with a model for how people eat that reflects body weight (it is very complicated but that is the gist). Compared to the normal body weight for Americans, he was able to see that most food available in America is not consumed and an estimated 3-4/8ths of all food produced is wasted! The USDA doesn’t have a good tracking system for food waste, but EPA data on food energy in landfills supports his numbers. This obviously has huge environmental impacts, and really shows how food in America has become more of an industry, and less about feeding people! 
Heres a link to his paper (check out figure 1):
– Krista