Sustainable food systems have been a topic of growing interest to nutrition and dietetics professionals and the public over the past several years. A survey of dietetic internship directors found that while one half of respondents were already incorporating sustainable food systems activities into their programs, approximately 43% of respondents had high interest, but did not have the time or resources. Although career opportunities related to food systems are expanding domestically and abroad, there are limited academic programs that provide dietetics students and interns with tailored training at the intersection of food systems and nutrition.
To meet this need, with support of the Future of Food Initiative and funding from National Dairy Council, content experts from throughout the food system created the Sustainable, Resilient, and Healthy Food and Water Systems (SFS) Curriculum for dietetics students. As described in a recent publication, a curriculum development team convened by the Nutrition and Dietetics Educators and Preceptors (NDEP) Practice Group created and pilot tested curriculum activities at 14 sites from 2016-2017.
The SFS curriculum is designed to provide dietetic interns and students with strong foundational knowledge in the nutritional, social, environmental, and economic dimensions of sustainable food systems. The SFS curriculum includes 12 activities that encompass the seven sectors of the food system. The 12 activities total approximately 120 hours of supervised practice hours, and they can be implemented in various formats, including:
- As a dedicated three-week rotation,
- Adopted as a full concentration, or
- The 12 activities can be used as stand-alone activities.
Regardless of how the activities are implemented, we hope both students and educators will find these activities to be a valuable resource for increasing knowledge of sustainable, resilient, and healthy food and water systems among nutrition and dietetics students and professionals.
Interested in learning more and implementing this program? Complete the form below to access a PDF of the SFS Curriculum.