Although it was Hippocrates, the father of modern day medicine, who so famously stated “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine thy food,” few conventional doctors take seriously those words or wisdom and make wholesome, nutritious living the foundation of their patient’s treatment plan.
But in Houston, Texas, a progressive doctor has begun prescribing fruits and vegetables instead of pharmaceutical drugs, as he and many others believe nourishing food is an essential requirement for becoming ‘well’.
Why Diet and Lifestyle are the Best Tools
After years of treating patients’ modern-day ails, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, Dr. Garth Davis discovered that diet and lifestyle are truly the best tools for helping a body become vibrantly well.
As the medical director of bariatric surgery at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center, Dr. Davis no longer prescribes pharmaceutical drugs but instead dolls out recommendations for fruits and vegetables. And so far, patients have responded very well to the change.
“As physicians, we perform surgery or prescribe medications to our patients to make them well,” said Davis. “Why not also educate them on healthy eating, and make fresh fruits and vegetables readily available?
Dr. Davis and his team partnered with Kristina Gabrielle Carrillo-Bucaram, the founder, and chief co-operator of Rawfully Organic (the nation’s largest nonprofit organic food co-op), to make this possible.
Said Carillo-Bucaram, ”Dr. Davis and I agree that eating raw foods that are fiber-filled, organic, ripe and colorful should be a part of everyone’s daily routine.”
The Farmacy Stand
Together, Dr. Davis, Kristina, the Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center Hospital and the Memorial Hermann Foundation have opened the “Farmacy Stand.”
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The stand is open from 10 AM – 2 PM, every Wednesday in the lobby of Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center in Houston, Texas.
When prescribed fresh produce by Dr. Davis, patients go to the ‘Farmacy’ and receive $10 off a regularly priced $25 box of fresh, organic produce through the Rawfully Organic co-op. The Memorial Hermann Foundation graciously provided money to build the stand, and also funds the $10 discount for patients to eat healthier.
Some Patients Are Confused at First
But as can be expected, some are confused about the concept.
“I have people come up to me and tell me that farmacy was misspelled,” said Renee Garrett, senior patient access representative at the Davis Clinic. “I tell them that it is spelled correctly. We get organic vegetables from farms, and then the people want me to tell them more about what we are doing.” Garrett is one of the individuals who runs the stand every Wednesday.
In any one of the boxes, patients who adhere to their doctors’ orders receive a bounty of fruit, such as apples, oranges, and bananas; vegetable items include one head of Romaine lettuce, celery, carrots, and tomatoes.
“We have actual prescription pads that we are starting to give out to doctors that they can use,” said Davis.
Open since October, the Farmacy has been changing the lives of countless individuals. If only every hospital and city had a similar program!
“I think a few other doctors have written prescriptions,” continued Davis. “I would like to get more doctors writing the prescriptions. Hippocrates said, ‘Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.’ Produce is medicine. The vegetables and fruits are an alternative for use in treating diseases.”
“We understand the value of good nutrition, diet, and exercise, and we fully support Garth and the folks at Rawfully Organic as they work to promote the importance of a healthy lifestyle,” said Alexander.
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