The Food as Medicine Institute story began in 2010 with the creation of the Ending Childhood Obesity (ECO) Project, a community based nutrition education and cooking program offered in low-income areas in Portland, OR. Bob and Charlee Moore of Bob’s Red Mill have generously sponsored the ECO Project since its inception, resulting in 500 families completing the series—over 6,000 workshops and 9,000 hours of physician led nutrition education .
Food as Medicine Institute grew out of the successes of the ECO Project and the construction of Charlee’s Kitchen on the campus of NCNM in the Helfgott Research Center, thanks again to the generosity of Bob and Charlee Moore. The kitchen, affectionately known as Charlee’s Kitchen, has created opportunities for physicians, chefs and other nutrition experts to lead hands-on nutrition training for medical and research students and community members.
In Charlee’s Kitchen, the ECO Project expanded into a new ongoing series: Food as Medicine Everyday offered quarterly to the public by naturopathic physicians. The innovation of the ECO Project, the Everyday Cooking series, and Charlee’s Kitchen helped create a new degree program at NCNM: Master of Science in Nutrition.
The culmination of ECO and cooking classes spawned the Food As Medicine Institute. In 2014, the Institute hosted an inaugural Food As Medicine Symposium and continues to provide continuing education for physicians, lectures for community members, and brings together local businesses and organizations dedicated to improving access to natural and healthy foods for everyone.