As Fontbonne Dietetic Interns at Gateway Greening we are leaving behind traditional internship rotations and putting on our gloves –gardening gloves— to better understand the effects of sustainable food on a community.
Immersive training is an integral part of becoming a dietitian. But at Gateway Greening we dietetic interns aren’t just getting our feet wet, we are getting outside and getting our hands dirty, and we don’t miss the office.
What do dietitians and urban agriculture have in common? Food, and collaborating in the name of food is something we are always interested in.
Dietitians are focused on helping others become the healthiest version of themselves, beginning with their diet. As dietitians in training we focus a lot on the biochemical and medical nutrition therapy aspects of food. Our time at Gateway Greening helped us look at nutrition from a more personal light. From gardening to creating recipes, we were able to focus on the level of nutrition most people relate to–nutrition from the ground up.
Spending time with the professionals at Gateway Greening also helped us to better understand the solutions available to health barriers in urban settings and how to overcome them as a community. By putting our hands in the dirt and our faces in the sun (or rain) we were able to learn about the importance of having a connection to the food you eat, and how city farmers are working hard to minimize urban hunger while maximizing community partnership.
The result? A new crop of dietitians. Dietitians that not only know how to educate on healthy food choices but ones who understand the roots of healthy food and the hard work that goes into growing them.
It’s not easy being green- but it sure is rewarding. Not only did we learn about sustainable food sources but we now better understand our part in the urban food supply and how to educate others on it—and that’s some serious green power.
Perhaps one of the most valuable lessons we will learn during our time as dietetic interns is that the seeds you plant you eventually harvest. We sure are thankful for the meaningful seeds Gateway Greening helped us plant during our time here. Thanks Gateway Greening for taking on Fontbonne Dietetic Interns and for allowing us to be a small part of your big impact. Now good luck keeping us out of the gardens!
-Aspen Mittler, Fontbonne Dietetic Intern