(6-11 servings of grains daily? This pyramid bought to you by the grain lobby.)
I think I've stumbled upon the perfect second career for me. It's so obvious I don't know why it didn't occur to me before.
Super-opinionated about food? Check!
Love science? Check!
Feel like I'm making a difference? Check!
Potential for political activism? Check!
Growing field? Check!
Teaching/ coaching? Check!
Professional degree that doesn't require me to be an entrepreneur? Check!
I think the fact that I'm a gardener, pickler, fermenter, and food traditionalist could really work in my favor, too. Or not- depending on how many of my professors are bought and paid for by Monsanto.
Which leads me to a drawback: I have a bit of a subversive streak. Naw, it's bigger than a mere streak. It has its own area code.
For instance, I think reducing food to nutrients or constituent parts (Eat more beta carotene! Eat more oat bran! Fish oil will save us all!) is a bunch of hooey which serves only one purpose- to stuff the pocketbook of Big Food. And even though, every few years, the food authorities make a big show of announcing reversals on former findings, these things have a way of coming up again and again (beta carotene, oat bran, and fish oil lobbyists shoulder a lot of the blame- politics and food, together again). And I'm sure also it's the Cartesian reductionist model of science, hard at work. I intuitively know that there is more to food than it's parts. And I have a feeling that view wouldn't be terribly popular in most RD programs.
Another unpopular opinion of mine: Big Food has inflicted a vast evil upon humanity and ecology in the name of profit and global domination. That'll make me a total freaking ray of sunshine in an RD program, won't it? Michigan State has an outstanding program in food and nutrition sciences, but the school also has many ties to industry. That troubles me deeply. But moving out of state for school is out of the question.
Still. This is the first time I've felt really excited about a second career. And I've been looking for a second career for more than a decade; golly, I was thinking of changing my major to medicine when I was in my second year of grad school. Sad to say I chickened out.
Now the only problem is, I'm too excited to sleep.