Fruits and Vegetables Rx
The doctor always says, “Make sure you’re eating your fruits and vegetables!” But now they can actually write a prescription for you to buy those fruits and veggies. Through the company Wholesome Wave, these Produce Prescriptions provide help in preventing or managing diet-related disease, especially for low-income families.
Wholesome Wave was founded by award-winning chef Michel Nischan after his son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. His cooking did a 180 as he discovered the interconnectedness of diet and disease. Nischan also realized he was serving meals to the customers at his restaurant that he would never put on his table at home. He decided to cut added sugars, butter, cream and flour from all the items on his menu. This put many of his dishes over the $30 price mark, but his customers could afford it, so no big deal. But then Nischan started thinking about the people that live with diet-related disease and can’t afford it. Thus Wholesome Wave was born.
Generally speaking, low-income families tend to gravitate toward foods that will stretch their dollar. These foods tend to be highly processed with little nutritional value. Through Wholesome Wave, the Prescription Program allows doctors and nutritionists to write prescriptions to low-income families of $1 of produce per day per family member. That means if you have a family of four, you get $28 per week to spend on produce.
Fruits and veggies should be a part of everyday life for all, regardless of income. Nischan states, “If consuming more fruits and vegetables can help prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke, and can help somebody more effectively recover from chemotherapy because it replenishes the body of micronutrients and phytochemicals, then income shouldn’t prevent you from being able to access those things.”
To learn more, visit wholesomewave.org.
“Prescribing Produce, Not Pills.” EatingWell. July/August 2018. Pg. 122.
“Produce Prescription Program.” https://www.wholesomewave.org/what-we-do-1.
Tust, Amanda. “Get a Prescription for Free Produce Through This Non-Profit.” The Healthy. https://www.thehealthy.com/nutrition/non-profit-fresh-fruits-vegetables/. April 13, 2020.