Academic offerings: The Department of Nutrition and Dietetics looks at nutritional issues in relation to the impact of food growing on the environment. One course, for example, provides students opportunities to explore the issues, principles, history and practices of sustainable food systems in local and global communities. Included is hands on experience in the SLU teaching gardens, where students explore ways to connect under-serviced members of the surrounding community with adequate food supplies and participate in the Start Actively Recycling Today (START) grant efforts. These expand campus recycling to include solid food waste management.
Experiential learning: Service learning and grant efforts include provision of nutrition and gardening lessons to inner city school children in St. Louis and East St. Louis; establishing a food-processing center to incorporate more locally grown food into school lunches; and using solid food waste with vermiculture and in-vessel composting to provide compost for gardens.
Employment opportunities: Employment of dietitians is expected to increase 10-20% through 2010 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2002-2003). Between 2000 and 2010, the demand for higher-skilled culinarians is expected to increase 21-35% (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2002-2003). Registered Dietitians (RD) are versatile and can work in many different settings.
* In hospitals or other health care facilities, RDs are part of the health care team administering medical nutrition therapy and educating patients.
* In foodservice operations, RDs oversee menu development and food preparation as well as managing food service staff.
* Food and nutrition-related business and industries are areas in which RDs can put their food science, consumer affairs, and marketing skills to use.
* Sports Nutrition and wellness programs allow RDs to impact the overall health of individuals combining food and fitness.
* Community and public health settings are great for RDs who like to work with diverse populations advising the public through monitoring and program planning.
* Another option for RDs is opening their own private practice where they can contract with companies or specialize to counsel patients.
* Universities and medical centers employ RDs who want to be educators teaching students who strive to become RDs or other health professionals such as physicians or nurses.
* Finally RDs can do research for food or pharmaceutical companies in order to make recommendations for the public.