Let Food Be Thy Medicine…

...and medicine be thy food. Hippocrates, father of medicine, understood this clearly 2,455 years ago, and people are finally moving back this direction today.

In California, a state-funded study aims to prove Hippocrates’ hypothesis with definitive data. Can food heal better than chemical medicine? The Ceres Community Project in Northern California prepares meals for low-income cancer patients in hopes that the ingredients, which are “fresh, organic, nourishing, nutrient-rich, seasonal, minimally processed, grown sustainably, and local whenever possible,” will affect prognosis and treatment. “Ceres uses organic and local foods to ensure that the freshest and most nutrient-rich whole food is available” and delivers these meals prepared by teenager chefs. The teenagers get hands-on food preparation and kitchen training, and the cancer patients get top-quality meals to support healing.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and Stanford will study 1,000 patients receiving meals from Ceres to determine whether healthier meals affect hospital readmissions and referrals compared with 4,000 similar patients who don’t get the Ceres meals. This may seem redundant or even silly – we know diet directly links to health. Obesity and diabetes are diet related global epidemics. But maybe this research will finally convince stubborn policy makers who care more for profit than organic, healthy healing.

The project hopes to holistically reboot the patients’ immune systems using simple whole foods – not pharmaceuticals – as medicine.