What is Recipe4Health?
Alameda County Recipe4Health is a nationally recognized, award-winning model that integrates food-based interventions into healthcare settings (“Food as Medicine”) to treat, prevent and reverse chronic conditions; to address food and nutrition insecurity and other social determinants of health; and to improve health and racial equity.
By centering the question: “Where does the food come from in ‘food as medicine’?”, Recipe4Health purposely prioritizes the sourcing and supply of “regenerative and organic” food to healthcare’s demand for “food as medicine” to treat chronic conditions and address food/nutrition insecurity. Health care and agriculture work together to increase access to and skillful use of affordable, nutrient-rich medically supportive food. This reaps multiple benefits to human health, soil and planetary health, a local economy that generates community wealth, and equity.
The Recipe4Health model has three “ingredients”:
- Food Farmacy: Patients prescribed produce prescriptions receive regenerative and organic produce (local, seasonal, without pesticides, and nutrient dense) delivered weekly to their doorsteps.
- Behavioral Pharmacy: Patients receive group and individual health coaching (e.g., movement, nutrition education, stress reduction and social connection) to support long term life habit changes to amplify and sustain the effect of the food.
- Food as Medicine training: Healthcare clinic staff receive clinical nutrition training and electronic health record workflow integration support.
What is medically supportive food and nutrition?
A spectrum of interventions that provide nutrient-rich, whole food used for prevention, reversal, and/or treatment of certain chronic health conditions:
- Includes any fruit, vegetable, legume, nut, seed, whole grain, low mercury/high omega-3 fatty acid seafood, and/or animal protein
- Includes behavioral and nutritional coaching and education to amplify the effect of medically supportive food
- Prioritizes regeneratively and organically sourced foods