Music to my ears!
This New York Times article is right on the money and so encouraging for some who is striving to put nutrition into the front lines of the health care system. Dr.Preston Maring, a surgeon and ob/gyn, says
“… the kitchen must become as crucial as the clinic. Food is at the center of health and illness… and so doctors must make all aspects of it — growing, buying, cooking, eating — a mainstay of their medical educations, their personal lives and their practices.”
The only minor caveat I’d like to add to Maring’s desire for doctors learning more about food is that they don’t have to become nutrition gurus – just nutrition supporters. Doctors, I would love for you to be foodies with a passion for polyphenols but what I really want is for you to develop professional relationships with nutritionists and refer your patients to an experienced nutritionist. There is a huge army of mostly women who are already very knowledgable on how to make a clinically significant improvement in patient outcomes with foods and nutraceuticals. Put us to use!
This article also raises the issue of hospital food quality and the challenges of providing fresh, local, organic food to sick people who really need it. Last time I worked in hospital food service, there were a lot of flash frozen meals made off-site by large hospitality companies. I hope new distribution pathways have enable more fresh food to arrive at the bed side….
Anyhow, we definitely need more doctors like Maring in all settings, not just prestigious clinics like Kaiser Permanente. And to all the doctors who apparently don’t know how to mince garlic, don’t forget to smash it first to activate the allicin.