Hi, my name is Amanda, and I am a Dietetic Intern at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. I’m excited that my first rotation is at the Farm at St. Joe’s because it presents such a unique opportunity for future Dietitians to learn about food and health from a food systems perspective. Despite all Dietetic Internships requiring hospital rotations, it’s rare for those rotations to take place on a farm! The title of “Registered Dietitian” often brings to mind a clinician working with individual patients in a hospital setting, but I ultimately hope to work with programs that make it easier for low-income communities to eat healthfully. Given the Farm’s role in the hospital and the greater community, it’s a great fit for my interests.
Sparked by my father’s unstated goal of cooking a dish from every country in the world, I have always loved trying new foods. After I started cooking for myself and shopping at farmers’ markets in college, I realized how difficult it can be to navigate healthy eating and wanted to make it easier for others. Around this time, I really gained an interest in nutrition and sustainable agriculture and wanted to learn more. Since then, I’ve done a lot of projects to promote and support sustainable food so it seems almost silly to have farmed/gardened as little as I have. I’ve grown plenty of windowsill herbs and helped with the School of Public Health’s courtyard garden last summer, but I still have a lot to learn. Trial and error can get you somewhere, but it never hurts to learn from an expert.
I took a brief tour of the farm a year and a half ago in March, but it is wonderful to see everything flourishing and the new accessible hoophouse. I’m looking forward to spending the next two weeks on the farm!