Category Archives: Nutrition and Disease

Docs in Aprons, Chefs in Scrubs

Food stepped back into fashion with farmers markets and smart chefs. Beguiled by scrumptious stalks and orange spice, we were seduced not scared.  But now we fear fatty cows. Food isn’t just a hot date anymore and we’re wondering where to turn.

Well, food as medicine is forging new alliances these days—savvy, healthy alliances—from medical schools and culinary institutes to local restaurants and global symposiums. Help is on its way.

Though a 2010 study from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill found that two-thirds of disease is preventable through healthy lifestyle choices, only about a quarter of medical schools had even a single course devoted to nutrition. That was then.

Today at least four major universities, including Tulane and Baylor College of Medicine, are putting med students in aprons and discussing topics once taboo—like cooking and cancer, yoga and prevention.

In March, celebrity chef David Bouley partnered with Wegman’s supermarkets to co-sponsor a New York City lecture by Dr. Thomas Campbell, T. Colin Campbell’s son and co-author of The China Study . The host was Bouley’s trendy Next Door restaurant which served up a healthy four-course meal.

And on the west coast, physicians, nutritionists and healthcare execs join world class chefs for an annual Napa Valley conference co-sponsored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and The Culinary Institute of America.

Imagine four days of hot science peppered with cooking classes and lip-smacking healthy meals. What a feast!

 

 

 

Eggless in America

Would you like your plants poached or fried this morning?

That question may be up sooner than we think. Earlier this month I posted a blog about Hampton Creek, a San Francisco start up backed by Bill Gates and other luminaries that created Just Scramble, a plant based egg substitute.

This week, news of massive egg shortages in the fallout of avian flu has corporate food giants knocking down that company’s doors. As much as one third of U.S. egg production is broken down for use in thousands of products from hotdog buns to pancake mix.

At least a dozen companies, including McDonald’s and General Mills, are now seeking Hampton Creek’s products to meet their quotas. Ironically, they may include Unilever, the maker of Hellmans’ mayonnaise, who unsuccessfully sued Hampton Creek over their right to use the word “mayo” in Just Mayo – their first eggless product released last year.

According to a May 21st report in the New York Times, the flu is forcing farmers to kill more than 38 million infected birds, 33 million of which are laying hens.

Bill Gates knows a hot trend when he sees one, but no one could have predicted this massive flu, which is being tagged the biggest livestock crisis in U.S. history. More reasons—and more urgent reasons—for all of us to consider the benefits, short term and long, of a whole foods plant based diet.