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How UC Medical Professionals Plan To Change The Way People Eat

Ann Thompson
(from left) Robert Edmiston, Ex. Dir. Turner Farm and Sian Cotton, PhD, Director, UC Center for Integrative Health & Wellness in the new Turner teaching kitchen.

University of Cincinnati medical students and other health professionals will soon be making regular trips to Greater Cincinnati's largest certified organic farm to learn, in a new state-of-the-art kitchen, how food can be used to prevent disease.

Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU
Turner Farm, the area's largest certified organic farm, has just built a new teaching kitchen.

This is made possible by Indian Hill'sTurner Farm which already has a partnership with UC's Center for Integrative Health and Wellness. Turner's Executive Director Robert Edmiston is a firm believer in natural food, especially after attending Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives. He says, "This country has not been a food culture country and we need to revisit that. We believe in embracing an intimacy with food and understanding where your food is coming from."

Sian Cotton, PhD, director of the UC Center for Integrative Health and Wellness, is encouraging new doctors to look at the whole patient. "I always say if we don't teach them anything but just to give them medication, that's all they know. We have to teach them the value of nutrition."

"Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives," is the brainchild of Dr. David Eisenberg, director of culinary nutrition at Harvard University. Eisenberg spoke this weekend at UC and Turner Farm. His goal is to establish teaching kitchens at all hospitals, schools and workplaces.

According to Eisenberg, "I think in that moment (while cooking healthy) people realize it's not difficult, it's not expensive, it doesn't take a lot of time and it's fun and fabulous, something shifts."

Eisenberg comes from a family of bakers and loves to cook. In 1979 he studied food and medicine in China.

He says UC is uniquely positioned to lead this food movement effort with its strong background in the biosciences. "So instead of focusing on diagnosis and treatment of disease, UC Medical School in association with the new Turner Farm teaching kitchen could actually teach all of the elements of the consummate physician of the future."

Ann Thompson has decades of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market and brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting.