This month's newly profiled members are researchers from Canada, the Netherlands, Norway, and Romania, and from the very north of Australia

Isabela Sattamini reports: The world is going through many changes: in which direction should it go? The Association, with our members, aims to encourage policy-makers and decision takers, at all levels from global to local, to promote equitable and sustainable access to adequate, enjoyable, appropriate and nourishing food. Critical research is engaged with social values and issues of power. Once we know what we are dealing with, we can propose changes. In order to achieve our aims we need to question power structures in the food system , empower small food producers and sellers, and regulate transnational corporations.

Here are some extracts from the profiled members:

Carla D'Andreamatteo: 'In 2009 I returned to the University of Manitoba to obtain a Masters degree in human nutrition, focusing on the vulnerability of homeless men. This experience, along with many years of working with marginalised populations in Manitoba, addresses the underlying causes of poverty that are compromising the nutrition-related health of Canadians. I am focusing on food insecurity and engaging a larger body of nutrition professionals to championing nutrition policy that will improve access to safe, nutritious food for our most vulnerable people.'

Alida Melse-Boonstra: 'International nutrition is a key focus in Wageningen, and since I had already been travelling in Africa and got a liking for it, I focused my studies on nutritional problems related to low-income countries. Micronutrients have been my main interest ever since, because I still find it amazing that optimal human biological functioning largely depends on tiny amounts of mostly invisible substances in our daily food supply'.

Arne Oshaug: 'Before I started to study I read a lot, and was forced to take a look at the world and the global situation. Images of the devastating famines in many countries, particular in Sub-Saharan Africa, created a process in me that finally ended up in my strong interest and work in the field: the human right to adequate food. I began to ask myself: "How long can politicians and others in decision making positions be allowed to take wrong decisions and always get away with not being accountable for what they do?"'

Doina Miere: 'Currently I am concerned with the promotion and recognition of the profession of dietitian in Romania, the professional organisation of our graduates, for providing the legal framework necessary for this new profession and for good insertion of licensed dieticians on the labour market. I coordinate my staff to get involved in promoting a healthy diet in the context of healthy ways of life among the population of Romania.'

Lucia Maria Lotrean: 'I was born in Alba Iulia, an old historical town from Transylvania. This region is known in the world because of the movies about vampires, and the landscape has mountains, big forests, old castles and medieval towns. After the fall of the communist regime in 1989, Romania has started a process of political, economic and socio-cultural changes, which led in 2007 to the admission of Romania into the European Union. During my adolescence and youth I was seeing and living all this changes, which also influenced the ways of life and health related outcomes of Romanian people.'

Dympna Leonard: 'European settlement of Australia had many devastating impacts on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander first peoples, including loss of traditional food systems. In modern times, remote community Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people still enjoy traditional foods when they can – fish, crabs and shellfish, turtle, dugong and wild pig, fruit bats and wallaby – and in the Torres Strait, traditional garden foods. But life in settled communities means that most food is now purchased from stores and takeaways.'

Isabela Sattamini
Assistant editor


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