“Prescription produce”– healthy food for healthy people

You already know that what you eat has a huge impact on your health. Fresh fruits and vegetables are so important that in some places, doctors are helping their less affluent patients pay for them.  As I wrote in The Green Foodprint, some Massachusetts doctors are taking active steps to help low-income children adopt a healthier diet. They’re advising their patients to buy “prescription produce” at local farmers’ markets–and even giving them coupons to help them pay for it.




Meanwhile, as Kristina Chew reported last week, the nonprofit Wholesome Wave is bringing such programs to other states, benefiting eaters and small farmers in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and California. And recently Wholesome Wave got a half-million dollar grant to help create jobs in rural communities and regional “food hubs.”  This is very exciting to all those working to re-create our food system into one that is healthy for people and supportive to farmers. And if you need further inspiration, let me suggest a few books that make the case for food as a body’s best friend.

Anticancer, A New Way of Life, by David Servan-Schreiber. This well-deserved best-seller is a gripping personal account of a doctor’s cancer that awakened him to the body’s natural needs. While acknowledging the value of Western medicine to intervene in a crisis, he sets forth the scientific discoveries about breathing, meditation, supportive relationships, and diet that serve to strengthen our own healing powers.

Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease by Dean Ornish. Against immense skepticism from the medical establishment, Ornish doggedly proved that heart disease can be reversed with a program of meat-free diet, exercise, meditation, and imagery. This book explains the medical reasons why the program works, and how the reader can share the many benefits of adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Plant-Based Diet by Brenda Davis,  and Vesanto Melina. The authors, registered dietitians, explore the benefits of a vegan diet (without meat, eggs or dairy products) — the impact of their nutritional choices on health, the environment, animal rights, and human hunger. Beyond making the case for veganism, this book shows you how to adopt it and how a vegan diet can protect against cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses.


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