Taking the concept of food as medicine to the next level and quite literally, Robert E. Graham, M.D., MPH, has embarked on the Chef Training Program at the Natural Gourmet Institute this fall. The Harvard-trained physician who co-founded FRESH Med NYC at Physio Logic NYC and serves as Change Food’s own physician in residence will complete the program September 2018 as a certified chef and plans to use his combined credentials to further his food-as-medicine-based medical practice.
“In my 15 years of practicing medicine, I’ve witnessed the impact of poor diets on our health,” says Dr. Graham, who is board-certified in both internal and integrative medicine and whose practice is based on years of seeing patients battling ailments that could be best remedied with a change of diet. “Being a chef will allow me the opportunity to share the importance of food and cooking as medicine.”
A firm resistor of prescribing “a pill for an ill,” Graham has taken a “food first” approach to addressing health care needs by prescribing recipes along with meal plans consisting of whole foods and mostly vegetables. His mission, Graham says, is to put the “health” back in “healthcare.”
Since 2010, Graham has been teaching doctors how to cook, and in June 2013, he and his wife Julie Graham started “Victory Greens,” the first educational and edible organic rooftop garden at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. The hospital cafeteria and patients are now provided with fresh, organic produce in this unique “rooftop-to-bedside” service.