Zest: The Health meets Food Newsletter – April 2021

Welcome to the April 2021 edition of Zest.

Zest. It says a lot about what the folks who are involved with Culinary Medicine are about. People connected with the movement have just that: a zest for life, learning, and teaching.  Zest evokes the excitement and passion that is happening at the intersection of where health meets food.

Curriculum Update – Food Security Courseware

This week the Health meets Food team is excited to announce two new modules in the student courseware related to Food Security.

For current partner-sites the programming is loaded into the Professional Student Programming.  There is one module that covers the SNAP & WIC program, and another covering food security issues in the elderly.  Four additional modules are under development and will be launched over the course of 2021 to offer a comprehensive look at this topic for your students, including information about school lunch programs, the built environment and food deserts, medically tailored meals, and food bank programs.

Over the course of the next month the food security courseware will be added to the curriculum for the Certified Culinary Medicine Specialist program.  It will also be available to any healthcare professional for continuing education credits at no charge.  Academic medical centers will be offered the Health meets Food Food Security modules with a fee-free license.  Interested academic faculty can contact Cecilia Hatfield at cecilia@culinarymedicine.org for more information on how to offer the programming for their students, residents and faculty.

Health meets Food: The Culinary Medicine Conference 2021

June 4 – June 6, 2021  •  Virtual Event

Register here » Health meets Food Conference

The Culinary Medicine Specialist Board is pleased to announce the 7th annual Health meets Food: The Culinary Medicine Conference.

Our Keynote Speaker this year is Dr. Marion Nestle. Dr. Nestle is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health, Emerita, at New York University, which she chaired from 1988-2003 and from which she officially retired in September 2017. Her blog Food Politics explores the food, the food industry, politics and policy.

Dr. Robert Lustig joins an already amazing group of speakers this year at the conference as part of our Saturday agenda on Culture Change. Dr. Lustig is Professor emeritus of Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He specializes in the field of neuroendocrinology, with an emphasis on the regulation of energy balance by the central nervous system.

Conference Agenda >>>

Conference Speakers >>>

Register here: Health meets Food Conference 2021

Monthly Profile: Academic Medicine

Kristi Artz, MD

Kristi Artz, MD, CCMS

Dr. Kristi Artz, MD is the Medical Director of Lifestyle Medicine at Spectrum Health.  Dr. Artz focuses on living a healthy lifestyle for herself and her family but also encourages it for her patients.  Motivated by treating patients with acute and chronic illnesses, her work is focused on reimagining how we connect with patients using personalized lifestyle interventions.

For over 10 years Dr. Kristi Artz has been a practicing emergency medicine physician in the northeast and midwest US as well as overseas in New Zealand. Her work in the emergency room has provided a bird’s-eye view of a society burdened by chronic illness as a result of poor nutrition and lifestyle factors. By practicing scientifically supported nutritional and lifestyle medicine, she hopes to be part of a paradigm shift whereby patients can regain control of their lives and achieve optimal health. Dr. Artz holds certificates in Plant Based Nutrition and Culinary Medicine.

She received her BS in Biology from the University of Michigan, her MD from Wayne State School of Medicine and completed her residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania where she also served as Chief Resident. She is a professional member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine and lead Culinary Medicine physician at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, MI where she currently resides with her husband and three daughters. You can connect with her for lifestyle and nutritional evaluation via virtual visits at Answer Health On Demand (www.ahondemand.com/providers).  www.spectrumhealth.org/patient-care/lifestyle-medicine

Kristi answers the Zest Newsletter Escoffier Interview. This was shamelessly robbed from the Actors Studio Bernard Pivot questionnaire.

What is your favorite ingredient? 

Mango.  It’s such a fun sweet surprise when added to savory dishes like tacos or curries.  And I’ve finally mastered the art of cutting mangoes!

What is your least favorite ingredient? 

Bacon.  We’ve been deceived that bacon needs to be sprinkled on all kinds of different foods for flavor, let alone the health consequences.

What turns you on creatively? 

Walking outside. There’s nothing better.

What turns you off? 

Meetings and email.

What is your favorite recipe or meal? 

The meal that doesn’t require a recipe.  My kids and husband enjoy a quick homemade ramen noodle bowl with veggie/miso broth, bok choy, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, tofu and a whole grain noodle.   Sprinkle on some sesame seeds and it’s well rounded easy to prepare meal.

What culinary flavor or aroma do you love? 


What culinary flavor or aroma do you hate? 

Funny but I can’t think of anything in particular.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? 

I’d love to own a farm with a small bed and breakfast…maybe that will still happen someday!

What profession would you not like to do? 

Kindergarten teacher.  I love my kids but I don’t think I’d have the patience for that job!

Julia Child invites you to a pot luck dinner with James Beard and Aguste Escoffier. What dish would you take? 

Something simple and seasonal, like fresh cut heirloom tomatoes with basil, balsamic and crusty bread.  Who doesn’t enjoy that?

Monthly Profile: Certified Culinary Medicine Specialist

Vibha Patel, DO

During my years as a medical student I was drawn to many different specialties for future residency training. I chose family medicine because of the impact of implementing preventative health interventionsacross all age ranges to affect beneficial health outcomes. After 21 years of  practice in a variety of fields of family medicine, I stumbled across this exciting field of culinary medicine. I have always enjoyed cooking but now I am enthusiastic to have a new platform to present well researched evidence-based information on health outcomes with dietary intervention and food preparation to patients, fellowcolleagues, friends and family members.

For the past 4 years I have been working for Optum/MedExpress as an onsite physician for the EmployeeHealth and Wellness Center at JP Morgan Chase corporate centers in the Dallas-Fort Worth region. Our team here at the Health and Wellness Center serve over 10,000 employees in the metroplex area. We alsoparticipate in corporate local, regional and national events to promote health education and healthcare initiatives. Health care in the corporate sector is a growing field and a great opportunity to provide health care & information for employees in the workplace.

Additional interests of mine are traveling, photography, scuba diving, environme t and wildlife conservation.

Vibha answers the Zest Newsletter Escoffier Interview. This was shamelessly robbed from the Actors Studio Bernard Pivot questionnaire.

What is your favorite ingredient?

Cumin. I grew up in Texas and was surrounded by amazing Tex Mex and Latinx cuisine. In addition, I was thrown into the kitchen to learn how to cook Indian dishes at the age of 12. This spice is used quite a bit in all these cuisines and a small amount can really add a pop of flavor to a dish.

What is your least favorite ingredient?

Dry Fenugreek. It has a strong flavor profile that can be bitter.

What turns you on creatively?

Traveling. I love exploring the essence of a new place and letting its imprint find its way into my home and cooking.

What turns you off?

Lack of preparedness

What if your favorite recipe or meal?

Tacos. After spending any time traveling overseas it is the one item the Texan in me craves upon return.

What culinary flavor or aroma do you love?

The scent of a good chicken curry dish or biryani. It speaks to my heart like no other aroma.

What culinary flavor or aroma do you hate?

The smell of liver when it’s been cooked.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I would love to work in the environment protection and preservation field or work as a translator since I love to travel.

What profession would you not like to do?

Anything involving sales. I have friends that a great at it, but I do not have the patience for it.

Julia Child invites you to a potluck dinner with James Beard and Aguste Escoffier. What dish would you take?

Ground lamb samosas with a tamarind date chutney for an appetizer and one of the dishes that I learned to make in my teens. It’s my mother’s recipe that is the legendary with my friends and extended family. If I am to have the privilege to be invited to dinner with these powerhouse members of the culinary world then I’ll need to bring my A game.

Upcoming Culinary Medicine Events

•  Continuing Medical Education via Zoom

The Health meets Food team began offering online hands-on cooking classes for CME credit in early May 2020. The classes have been very successful and our first round sold out, so we are adding more classes! Participants will use Zoom to gather, collaborate, cook together, and discuss case studies. Each module will follow the workflow of in-person programming and will take about 3 1/2 hours to complete.

A shopping and equipment list is available for each module to guide you in preparation. We also recommend using an iPad for the Zoom meeting and purchasing Gooseneck Tablet Holder to make participation easier.

For registration issues, questions, or for more event information, please contact Cecilia Hatfield at cecilia@healthmeetsfood.com.

Introduction to Culinary Medicine: Sunday April 25, 2021, 3:00 pm – 6:30 pm EDT

Carbohydrates and Diabetes: Friday May 7, 2021, 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm EDT

Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Saturday May 22, 2021,  12:00 pm to 3:30 pm

Register at this link: More info »

•  Curriculum Committee Meetings Every Second Thursday of the Month

Health meets Food Curriculum Committee meetings are held the second Thursday of  each month at 5:00 PM Eastern time.  All partner-sites are invited to join the Zoom meeting.  The goal for the remainder of this academic year is to review two new modules related to food security — one covering food security in the elderly and the other a combined WIC & SNAP overview.  We will also work on revisions to Module 1 and Module 7.

You can find Zoom information for registration in the Instructor Resources inside Moodle.

•  Research Committee Meetings Every Third Thursday of the Month

The Health meets Food team meets on the third Thursday of each month at 5:00 PM Eastern time.

Information on how to join the meeting via Zoom can be found in the Research Information for Health meets Food section of the Instructor Resources•  

•  Free Culinary Medicine Continuing Medical Education

Did you know that you can access Culinary Medicine CME for free?

Webcasts from previous Health meets Food: The Culinary Medicine Conference lectures are online.  There are fantastic lectures by Joe Nadglowski of the Obesity Action Coalition, Michael Gershon on gut serotonin, and Martha Clare Morris on the MIND Diet.

Ten hours of CME are completely free and span topics from obesity to IBS to Food Insecurity to the impact of diet on inflammation.  This free CME is made possible by an educational grant from United Healthcare and Vitamix.

Click through for free CME at this link >>>  Health meets Food Free Continuing Medical Education.



2021 Virtual Poster Session

Traditionally we have held our yearly poster session at the Culinary Medicine Conference.  For 2020 we were delighted to be able to gather for The Culinary Medicine Conference Poster Sesson.

We will hold a poster session again in September via Zoom and our deadline for submission will be in mid-July. Our Co-Chairs for the poster review will be Dr. Canneralla Lorenzetti and Dr. Carrie Gordon.

Information will be coming in January about submission of posters. In the meantime you can find past posters and abstracts at this link:


Culinary Medicine Colleagues in the Media

New center at St. Barnabas Hospital offers free cooking classes for New Yorkers to improve nutrition

A new health and wellness center in the Bronx is offering free cooking classes for more nutritious and healthier food options.  The Teaching Kitchen at the new Health and Wellness Center at St. Barnabas Hospital has helped Jadore Tarrell find new recipes that are healthy, and also tasty.

Culinary Medicine Classes beginning April 20

Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital is again partnering with District Health Department No. 10 and Lifestyle Medicine at Spectrum Health to bring culinary medicine to Mason and Oceana County residents. Two virtual sessions will be available, focusing on the powerful influence food has on health and wellbeing. This year, Zoom will be the virtual platform used for the classes, allowing participants to easily watch the recipes being prepared or cook alongside our chef and dietitian so your family can enjoy a meal together once you’ve finished.

Geisinger clinic opening in Susquehanna Valley Mall

The facility will also feature a multi-specialty clinic, with medical experts in a variety of fields such as cardiology, dermatology, neurology, nephrology and ear, nose and throat who will serve patients on a referral or scheduled basis when it opens in late April.  More specialty services are expected to be added through the year, including clinical nutrition, culinary medicine, digestive and liver care and surgical specialties.

Research Publications

To change this paradigm, Porter and a team of UVM researchers gather qualitative data from people participating in 13-weeks of evidence-based integrative therapies paid for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (Blue Cross). The program aims to support participants’ self-efficacy and provide tools for coping with pain, while measuring health improvements and impacts on health care spending.   “We want to demonstrate to society the value of this novel approach to pain,” Porter said. “Blue Cross wants to know if it works. They want their subscribers to be healthier and to reduce costs.”  More information >>>