If surging interest is any indicator, there’s about to be a smorgasbord of Tulane resources helping the community make healthier food choices, says Dr. Timothy Harlan, executive director of the school’s newly launched Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine.
When organizers started recruiting first- and second-year students for the center’s service learning projects this fall, they hoped to get 35 volunteers to teach healthful cooking classes out in the community. They got 122.
“This is astounding,” says Harlan, whose group will train students to teach patients and community members about adapting cooking and eating habits to lose weight, manage chronic diseases and lead healthier lives. “We could eventually get to the point where we are doing two to three cooking classes in New Orleans every day.”
The School of Medicine and Johnson & Wales University made headlines this summer by announcing a groundbreaking collaboration to teach culinary medicine. For the first time, a medical school and a major culinary institution will implement a fully integrated, comprehensive joint curriculum for doctors, medical students, chefs and the community focused on the significant role that food choices and nutrition play in preventing and managing obesity and associated diseases in America.
In addition to instructing students, chef Leah Sarris, the center’s program director, is leading cooking classes for patients of Tulane’s community clinics. The school has also begun “Culinary Medicine in Practice,” its first formal elective class within the program. Harlan will also be teaching a culinary medicine CME class for alumni on Nov. 3 during Homecoming Week.
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