What role does food play in your life, you know besides the obvious “no food-no life” equation? Some of us have our few favorites and we regularily eat just what we know. Others see food as part of life’s great adventure and are always willing to look and cook fry and try new things all the time. Some eat to fuel specific activities and some eat to avoid dealing with feelings. In other words, food is complex and can play an important role in better health.
Food even has a place in medicine and not just for jokes about hospital food!
According to Nutrition-dot-org , “Culinary medicine is an emerging field: it is a new educational and nutritional approach to improving eating behaviors, focusing on skills such as food shopping, storage, and meal preparation.”
Central Washington University (CWU) has involvement in a multi-institutional culinary medicine program with a goal to educate future medical professionals from CWU, Washington State University, Heritage University, and Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences about the importance of integrating nutrition into their patients’ treatment regimens, in lieu of medication. Healthier food and fewer pills sounds like a very worthy goal.
Lessons To Learn
Culinary medicine celebrates the importance of real food, and seeks to empower people and their doctors to cook more – for their health …because frankly, we don’t!
Nutrition-dot-org, points out that,” prepared food at home is associated with a healthier diet and greater fruit and vegetable intake….yet recent finding suggest that more Americans are eating away from home – a 42% increase…..While many consumers do know what they should eat more of, the challenges of shopping on a budget, time constraints, desire to feel satisfied, access to evidence-based personal nutrition guidance, and avoiding food waste are all real potential barriers.”
Central Washington University’s Contribution
CWU Nutrition Professor David Gee helped spearhead Central’s program where the philosophy is pretty direct…”Instead of relying on medications to treat diabetes or hypertension, the culinary medicine philosophy involves adopting lasting changes in the way people eat, and improving communication between physicians and nutritionists, together helping patients achieve the best health outcomes.”
Central’s classes are helping cook up a healthier community and better prepared medical professionals.