I just read about Dr Preston Maring, a physician who is so convinced that physicians need to know about healthy foods that he stated a farmers’ market outside of the Kaiser Permanente medical center in Oakland, California. He is absolutely on target in his belief that food is the center of health and says, “doctors must make all aspects of it – growing, buying, cooking, eating – a mainstay of their medical educations, their personal lives and their practices.” He likes to challenge his medical colleagues on their culinary knife skills: do they know how to chop vegetables – mince garlic?
Dr. Maring and his son, a medical student, are both accomplished chefs and are teaching cooking skills to other medical students. Their project is called CHEF: Cook Healthy, Eat Fresh. How nice if this approach could be incorporated into the dental curriculum. While I was reading about Dr. Maring’s farmers’ market, I was at a lecture learning about the latest concepts in dental implants. The food selection for this all-day dental program was horrendous – picture 100 dentists from all over the east coast eating ice cream with all the toppings after a high-fat, low fiber luncheon. No wonder most of the participants nodded off for the afternoon session. I checked out the American Dental Association (ADA) website – not much to say about cooking healthy foods to avoid tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Like Dr. Maring, my personal healthy food habits also begin with growing, buying and cooking. At this point I only grow organic herbs but I buy organic fruits and vegetables from a local farm and I cook fresh foods. Eating healthy does not mean knowing how to read labels – it means knowing how to cook from fresh, local ingredients. If you don’t know how to cook, take a cooking course or start watching the food network. You’ll be surprised how easy it is – and how delicious. You’ll feel better and be healthier too.