Produce as Medicine

One topic I love to talk about is exercise as medicine.  I have written about it before, and I am sure I will talk about it again.  However, today the topic of fresh produce as medicine is on the docket.  On Facebook, my friend Erin recently linked to an article that I thought was worth using.  Some doctors are now prescribing fresh produce to individuals and families who are trying to treat chronic diseases (The article is entitled Doctors Write a Prescription for Fresh Produce).  These families then get money from FVRx, a private program that runs on donations, to use toward their diet change.  Does this shock you??  Here are my thoughts:

  • Wake up America! God gave us natural medicines in the foods that grow up from the ground we walk on. It’s amazing how many nutrients are in fresh produce and somehow we overlook it when we shop at the grocery store.  Did we forget what a nutrient is?  Something that provides nourishment; supplying with what is necessary for life, health, and growth (dictionary.com).  What better way to fight disease than to take in what is necessary for life, health, and growth?
  • That being said, it is great that some doctors are realizing the potency of these nutritious foods and actually prescribing them, not caring as much about the dollar signs that drug industries care about.
  • I am not sure how I feel about some people getting money towards healthy foods, while others are already spending the money and not getting helped.  Shouldn’t we all be prescribed a medication chock full of fresh produce to be healthy?  However, since FVRx is a private organization, they are free to give the money to whomever they feel appropriate.  
  • Ultimately, fresh produce is cheaper than drugs in the long run, so something should be done to encourage better eating habits.  What is the best way to do this?  I believe education, guidance, and accountability.  Ideally, each doctor’s office would have a nutritionist and a fitness professional on hand to consult with those who needed to make changes for medical purposes before the patient even leaves the office.  Then, either a follow-up call or appointment should be scheduled.  We all know doctors don’t have time for such things (and aren’t all trained in such ways).  
I think that this is definitely a step in the right direction.  Doctors and patients need to realize the importance of lifestyle habits on one’s health, and emphasize those changes before prescribing expensive medications.  It is not always the easy way, but it is the better way.  

 “It is an encouragement because now I actually see that my kids love all of this stuff and before I couldn’t get it because it wasn’t cheap. Not only that but I also didn’t know how healthy it actually is,” Janet Lopez said.  “A lot of kids are picking up on how to eat vegetables and realizing they’re not actually yucky.”

Read more: http://www.wgal.com/news/entertainment/Doctors-write-a-prescription-for-fresh-produce/-/9360122/15641678/-/vn4joh/-/index.html#ixzz21dig5L2q

Do you have any thoughts on this topic?  I would love to hear them!

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