Some good news just arrived…my medical school is going to teach some Hippocratic medicine.
Oftentimes news article titles, such as the above opening line, are written with intentionally worded sensationalism to catch the eye of the viewer. However, please do remember that we have been warned about the importance of diet, nutrition, and gut health ever since Hippocrates brought attention to this fact almost 2500 years ago.
While the title of this Journal suggests that the event to be explained below is the post modern birthplace of Culinary Medicine, we all know that Culinary Medicine has been around forever. The Hippocratic concept of “food as medicine” is becoming more mainstream in the past few decades, but its science and practice has been dismissed by the current version of the conventional medical industry.
Hippocrates taught this basic health concept in the 5th century BC.
But now this real medicine will now be formally taught to medical students, just as it has been taught to hundreds of thousands of other students of health all over the globe over the past several decades.
Tulane University School of Medicine is opening a kitchen and a cooking center, the first medical school to do so, to assist physicians and everyone else in learning about food and cooking as real medicine. This is very fine progressive medical establishment progress.
The 4600 square foot facility, named The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, is being developed to teach medical students the most valuable medicine practice ever taught in a medical school that I am aware of yet; how to use food as medicine.
The Culinary Medicine Center will open in May, 2014, and will include a Whole Foods Market as part of its complex.
I have been writing here and there, such as on Linkedin forums, about my feeling that doctors should be trained more in real human biochemistry rather than in the biochemistry of polypharmacy. I believe deep biochemical studies of our natural healing chemistry should supplant the bulk of the pharmaceutical studies, or at least be equally developed in the mind of the young physician.
Doctors should be trained in how to get patients off of their risky polypharmacy regimens as much as they are trained to get them on these life altering regimens.
This Culinary Medicine center is a huge step in that educational direction. The executive director at the Goldring Center, Dr. Timothy Harlan, M.D. and chef, says that the program’s goal is to school doctors-in-training in “some very simple techniques they can use to change the dialogue with their patients…change the way their patients think about food and nutrition.”
Goldring’s Executive chef and program director is Leah Sarris, an accomplished culinary and food expert, from the ground up. You can read about her here.
Classes integrate nutrition with biochemistry, physiology, and anatomy. The program also encompasses a food research branch and has licensed its curriculum to 2 other medical schools. Students include not only Tulane Medical School attendees, but local physicians and citizens as well.
Since I am often told by my clients, and many others, that medical schools do not offer any nutritional counseling to medical students, it is tempting to editorialize that Tulane should be roundly applauded for this long overdue curriculum development.
Here is an updated brief from October, 2014.
And yet another update from June, 2015, of more schools (now up to 30) offering courses to medical students in culinary medicine.
Here is a brief July, 2015 update which also describes the spread of this movement to other schools.
Here is a March, 2017 update with a nice 3 minute video and future courses.
The development of culinary medicine courses in medical schools and related institutions represents a major paradigm shift which will benefit the health seeker and health care practitioner alike.
Crestone and Beyond
Hippocrates once wrote, or said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be thy food.”
Tulane Medical School graduates will be in the first wave of medical school trained physicians to join the several decades old food revolution. They will be talking Mediterranean diet in the Goldring Center to help replace new Orleans staples: red beans and rice, and Po’ Boy sandwiches.
The ordinary know-it-all type is always down on what they are not up on. Now, some young physicians will be thinking more along the lines of what they should be staying up on…using food as medicine.
I see new types of Medical Journals coming.
It is also my hope that the agri business giants who are currently destroying Earth’s environment, will awaken over time, and put their powerful technology and creative genius to work to help heal the planet. I believe that this too shall come to pass.
Since the early post WWII years, people have come to view illness as a malfunction of mechanical parts, and to regard physicians as technicians responsible for the repair of those malfunctioning parts. The new Culinary Medicine movement will offer the well known viewpoint that we individuals are responsible and accountable to our own body, and all that it houses; from organ systems to the delicate mind-emotion-spiritual interwoven oneness which lives as our body.
Hippocrates also related some other noteworthy things:
1) “It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease than to know what sort of disease a person has.”
2) He spoke about a good life as including elements of hygiene, a calm balanced mental state, proper diet, physical conditioning, and a sound work environment. He taught that life forces pervade all of nature, and that health depends on living in harmony with those forces.
He said, “The natural healing force within each of us is the greatest force in getting well.”
At the Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine, I predict that the faculty and students will naturally move on into the obvious study of the life forces which Hippocrates describes.
Awareness and intention should be as much a part of health care teaching and practice as are drugs, radiation, and surgery. Ultimately one’s state of consciousness is the most important element in the healing process.
Applause for Tulane Medical School…may other medical schools follow this example…one can only hope.
Signing off from Crestone and Beyond.
Best wishes for your good health…and…Bon appétit…food is truly your best medicine.
- Culinary Nutrition Kitchens: Where the Docs Wear a Different Sort of White Coat..culinary medicine is catching on, as this June 7, 2017 article shows. The next step in the evolution of this natural chemistry learning is for medical people to start learning real healing biochemistry, not pharmaceutical chemistry which only manipulates diseases and masks patient symptoms.