On Thursday 7th February Year 12 had the chance to listen to a lecture all about nutrition, as part of the new RMS Edge programme.

The lecture was presented by nutritional expert and former vet, Lucy Williamson. She spoke in a manner that allowed students with varying degrees of biological knowledge to understand, whilst also expanding into more in-depth chemical processes to push the students taking Biology as an A Level. Being a Biology student myself, I was very interested in furthering my love of the field and hearing about topics that are not covered by the curriculum specification.

One of her topic areas was our gut microbes, which I had previously already heard a lecture on, so I appreciated being reminded of the specific details. Funnily enough, Mrs Williamson actually referenced a book written by that lecturer, so I felt very privileged to have heard the author speak in person.

As well as this, she gave us great advice on how to manage our diets to support our body and lifestyles, while also being conscious of the world around us. She recommended, for example, eating foods that are in season and buying local produce, helping to reduce food miles and also contributing to our community.

At the end of the session, she answered some of our questions. One question was about organic foods and whether they were worth eating and paying extra for; she suggested that if you can, eat organic fruit and vegetables because these do not need to be washed to try to get rid pesticides for example. In addition, many students were keen to draw on her wealth of experience after the session, asking about current topics like how to maintain B12 levels as a vegan.

For me, what I took away from the lecture was that I need to always be aware of what I am eating, and also to try some new things now considered as super foods, such as watercress! Being a vegetarian I have already taken my diet into my own hands, and the foods she suggested for this, such as those that are high in fibre, will definitely be added to my list of ingredients in my meals in future.

Overall, I feel very fortunate to have attended this eye-opening lecture, particularly in terms of the impact of small dietary choices on your overall internal wellbeing, and helping us to become more aware of what we eat. Hopefully talks like this will help young people improve their nutrition and perhaps even encourage some to take up a career in the field themselves!

Georgia (Year 12)