Bad cholesterol, depression, high blood pressure; these are all conditions that often prompt a trip to the pharmacy. But now, physicians are administering a different treatment entirely: produce. Doctors at select clinics across the country are writing some obese patients "prescriptions" for fruits and vegetables.
The Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program provides daily $1 subsidies to buy produce at local farmers markets. FVRx, as it is also known, is funded through Wholesome Wave, a non-profit organization which operates from private donations. Each member of a family gets the $1 prescription so, for example, a family of five would end up getting $35 per week to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables.
When top toques like Daniel Boulud, José Andrés, John Besh and Michael Chiarello get, erm, late night cravings, they don't go scrambling for the pots, pans and sous vide machine.
Is it hot in here, or is it just the peppercorns? We asked José Andrés, Michel Nischan, Gail Simmons, Michael Chiarello, Sang Yoon, John Besh, Richard Blais and Andrew Zimmern to deliver some serious sweet talk to their favorite ingredients and kitchen tools in the video above.
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Live from the Aspen Food & Wine Festival - chef and activist founder Michel Nischan speaks about how his own family's health crisis spurred him to take action toward a healthier food system and work toward getting affordable, fresh food to the people who need it most.
Learn more about Nischan's work with Wholesome Wave and Mariners Match
Chef Michel Nischan's Wholesome Wave initiative has been deeply rooted in the farming community since its inception in 2007, nurturing relationships between communities in need, and growers in search of local customers.
Now, Nischan tells Eatocracy, Wholesome Wave is partnering with New Orleans-based non-profit organization MarketUmbrella to offer food buying support, via a new program called MarinersMatch, to Gulf fishing families affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The spill, which released over 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico from April 20th through its final sealing-off on September 19th, has had a tremendous economic impact upon the thousands of commercial fishermen, crabbers, oystermen and shrimpers who have long made their living from the Gulf waters. While areas remained unaffected, and BP has provided cleanup assistance jobs to some displaced workers, much of the community remains without a steady source of income.
MarinersMatch mimics Wholesome Wave's signature Double Value Coupon Program, which allows recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Electronic Benefit Transfer (SNAP EBT) or food stamps to receive double benefits when shopping at any of 160 participating farmers markets in 20 states around the nation. In this partnership with MarketUmbrella, a New Orleans-based organization devoted to growing the field of public markets for public good, the presentation of a valid fishing license and a photo ID will entitle the bearer to $40 worth of farmers market tokens for each purchase of food from local farmers along the New Orleans and Mississippi Gulf Coasts, while supplies last.