Culinary Medicine is the emerging field of connecting evidence-based nutrition science to the food we prepare in order to address an individual’s health conditions.
At FoodShare, we do this not only through our Fresh Food Box program, providing access to more fresh fruits and vegetables, but by providing nutrition education to go alongside it. Nutrition education needs to be accessible and can range from a weekly recipe card in the box to a series of classes covering basic nutrition through culturally relevant recipes for all levels of learners.
Our Culinary Medicine program teaches nutrition science and culinary skills to medical learners and professionals at the University of South Carolina Columbia School of Medicine using a nationally accredited curriculum. We offer a special lecture to introduce food security and social determinants of health to first year students and a fourth-year intensive elective in culinary medicine. Our fourth-year elective focuses on chronic disease prevention and application of dietary recommendations for the most critical diseases facing South Carolina, namely diabetes and heart disease.
These courses provide health care providers and medical students with the knowledge they need to empower their patients to make healthy food and cooking choices to prevent and treat disease. While Food Is Medicine is a popular refrain, food is a complementary treatment to modern medicine and a choice people can make daily for better health.