Congratulations are in order for Stacia Nordin, who has just made Today’s Dietitian annual list of ’10 RDs [Registered Dietitians] Who Are Making A Difference’ for 2013. The magazine writes: “In honor of National Nutrition Month and Registered Dietitian Day, we asked readers to nominate colleagues and mentors who exhibit these traits and do exceptional work that’s making a positive impact. Of the more than 100 nominations we received, we selected 10 deserving RDs to be recognized for their incredible accomplishments and dedication to the field.” The following is the brief write-up that the magazine ran in honor of Stacia’s work:
Stacia Nordin, RD
Sustainable Nutrition, Never Ending Food
In 1997, Stacia Nordin and her husband, Kristof, headed to Malawi for two years to work with HIV patients. She was a dietitian in the field of HIV and nutrition, while her husband was working in community development promoting HIV awareness and prevention. Nordin says it didn’t take long for them to realize they needed to stay much longer than two years to make the impact they desired.
The Nordins have lived in Malawi for 16 years, and their efforts, known as Never Ending Food, focus on permaculture (the development of agricultural ecosystems intended to be sustainable and self-sufficient) and nutrition. Permaculture’s purpose is to “create abundance” for people while also taking care of the earth, Nordin explains. Even the couple’s daughter helps with the effort.
“When we asked what the problems were, in unison people would say, ‘Food,’” Nordin says. “Common health problems reported included malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, and undernourished children.”
Nordin says she and her husband recognized that a connection between the problems and the solution kept coming back to the health of the environment. “When our environment is healthy and systems are well designed, the environment can provide us with an abundance of healthful food, water, air, medicines, building supplies, seeds, and natural fertility—on short, all that we need,” she says.
Nordin says the biggest success has been a change in thinking. “In policy and program meetings, people are thinking differently about food—realizing we can’t depend on one food—and welcoming diversity,” she says. “Most people also realize that synthetic fertilizers aren’t helping in the long run. This is not just our success, but we have been a part of it.”
Keep up the great work Stacia, your family is more proud of you than words can express!