meet the team

Steering committee

Ayten Salahi

Executive Director

Ayten Salahi, M.S. is a researcher, food policy advocate, and nutrition educator on a mission to heal people and the planet through food. As the first-generation daughter of Turkish-Cypriot immigrants, Ayten learned at a young age to view food as a tool for healing, compassion, and unity, and she has committed her career to using food as a vehicle for change. Ayten founded the Planetary Health Collective to engage the larger food and nutrition community in the fight against climate change, under the ethos that all individuals have unique skills to contribute to the fight. She completed her Master's at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, where she specialized in Nutrition Interventions: Design, Operation, and Management. She also completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics at Simmons University and will complete her Dietetic Internship at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2021. Ayten has worked with the Tufts Food Aid Quality Review and USAID Office of Food for Peace to co-author report on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of international nutrition assistance research, and has foundational researching training on mind-gut pathologies from the Duke University Medical Center. She is a member of the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), co-founder of the Friedman Food Policy Action Council, and Founder and CEO of the Planetary Nutritionist. Connect with Ayten on Instagram at @planetary.nutritionist or at


Mary Purdy

Director of Education

Mary Purdy, MS, RDN is an Integrative and Eco-Dietitian, with a Master's Degree from Bastyr University where she is currently adjunct faculty. She has been in clinical practice for over 12 years in both private practice, as clinical supervisor at Bastyr’s Teaching Clinic and with the Wellness Company, Arivale, using a personalized medicine and functional nutrition approach. She has given over 100 nutrition workshops, speaks regularly at health and nutrition conferences and was the keynote speaker at Bastyr University’s Commencement Ceremony 2019. She serves on the boards of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition and Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine which she chaired in 2018. Additionally, she hosts the podcast “The Nutrition Show”, authored the books “Serving the Broccoli Gods" and "The Microbiome Reset Diet", and is a tireless advocate for a sustainable food system that supports our environment and helps to mitigate climate change. Her website is


Breta Alstrom

Director of Operations

Breta Alstrom, MS, RDN is a pediatric integrative dietitian specializing in nutrition therapy and behavior management for kids with neurodevelopmental disorders.  Breta aims to create a world where all people and the planet thrives. She completed her Master's at the University of Kansas Medical Center with an emphasis in Integrative and Functional Medicine, a traineeship in Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND), and nutrition literacy research. Breta has worked with various food security initiatives in the Kansas City Metro, spent time as a retail dietitian in rural Missouri, and is now a clinical dietitian at Children's Hospital Colorado. Breta is Public Policy Coordinator for the Kansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Founder and CEO of Eat with B the RD, LLC, her private practice that serves families of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Breta is the host of the Eat with B the RD podcast where she loves connecting her audience with complex topics in an easily digestible way. Connect with Breta on Instagram @eatwithb.rd



Lauren Burns

Marketing Co-Chair

Lauren Burns is a clinical outpatient dietitian for a small critical access hospital on the Oregon Coast. As a systems thinker, Lauren uses her background in art, natural foods and small farming to creatively meet the needs of her community through food. Prior to entering the field of dietetics, Lauren spent many years working with local farmers through the Twin Cities Natural Foods Cooperatives, as a produce purchaser.  Lauren graduated with her BS in nutrition from Bastyr University in 2017 and completed her dietetic internship with Oregon Health and Science University in 2019. Lauren has served on the board of the Hunger and Environmental Dietetic Practice Group since 2018. In 2019, Lauren partnered with an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics workgroup aimed to establish supplementary curriculum in Sustainable, Resilient and Healthy Food and Water Systems for nutrition students and dietetic interns. In her own community, Lauren is active with the Food Action Team through the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition. Connect with Lauren on Instagram (@laurmburnsrd).

Katie Poppe

Marketing Co-Chair

Katie Poppe, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian practicing functional and integrative nutrition in an outpatient setting and is currently pursuing her Master of Public Health at The Ohio State University with a focus in public policy and health behavior and health promotion. She serves as the Communications Committee Chair of the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In all of her work, she strives to promote and advocate for a food system that creates both healthy people and a healthy planet.

Supriya Lal, RDN, MPH Candidate

Growing up an Indo-Can-American household led Supriya to have a profound appreciation for food, as it was often the way her family connected to those around them. This, compounded by the medical background she was exposed to, led her to have an interest in equitable food access, prevention of disease through dietary measures, and community health. Supriya is currently an MPH student at New York University studying exactly that. She is also a Registered Dietitian and is focused on making her mark on those around her through evidenced-based health communication. Connect with Supriya on IG @supriyalalrd.

Leah Tarleton, MS, RD

Leah Tarleton, MS, RD is an integrative dietitian and food justice advocate. At the University of New Hampshire, Leah served as Campaign Manager for Slow Food, exploring the inequities in the global food system. During her Master's at Cox College she continued to study the connection between human health and the environment. After working as a clinical nutrition manager in long-term care, Leah left her job to volunteer in the emergency food system, reconnecting to her food justice roots. She joined the Community Alliance for Global Justice' (CAGJ) RiseUp! Summer School Program where she participated in grassroots fundraising efforts and deepened her knowledge of concepts surrounding food justice and food sovereignty. Leah is currently a member of the CAGJ Food Justice Committee and the Hunger and Environmental Dietetic Practice Group where she currently serves on the social media communications team. Additionally, Leah founded Anxiety Nutritionist, and is on a mission to help women from all walks of life use food as medicine to heal by transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle.

Erica Yeh

Erica Yeh, MS, MLA, is originally from Taiwan but grew up in South Africa, where she completed her undergraduate degree in dietetics. During this time, she was struck by the need to integrate all facets of the food system, nutrition and dietetics in order to make a real change. Following her passion for food, she went on to complete a Certificate Program in the Culinary Arts and Master’s in Liberal Arts in Gastronomy at Boston University where she learned that food is the intersection of many different sectors. She recently completed her Master of Science in Agriculture, Food and the Environment with a focus in Health Promotion and Sustainable Food Systems at Tufts University and a Didactic Program in Dietetics at Simmons University. Erica will complete her Dietetic Internship with a focus on sustainable food systems at Montana State University in 2021.

Amanda Terillo, MS, RD

Amanda Terillo is a Registered Dietitian and Farmer living in Central Virginia. Early in her studies to become an RD she realized the disconnect between agriculture and nutrition. She pursued her passion and received her masters degree in Sustainable Food Systems from Green Mountain College in Vermont.  Currently she works on her family farm called Olive Branch Gardens which is a small diversified vegetable and biodynamic farm. In addition Amanda is author of   Kitchen Confidence:Improve your Health, Save Money, Waste Less which is about creating nutritious meals and reducing food waste at home. She has given several presentations on Environmental Nutrition to varied audiences throughout the years to bring awareness of the role that agriculture plays on in social and environmental health. Connect with Amanda Terillo @OliveBranchGardens.