About the Food as Medicine Institute

The Food as Medicine Institute at the National University of Natural Medicine provides nutrition education for individuals, families, and communities to help nourish healthy relationships with whole foods and to enhance healthcare professionals’ understanding of food as medicine.

Our Story

Our 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 generously sponsored the early years of the ECO Project. Since its inception, more than 2000 participants completed the series—nearly 1600 workshops and more than 2400 hours of physician-led nutrition education.

The Institute & Charlee’s Kitchen

The Food as Medicine Institute grew out of the successes of the ECO Project and the construction of Charlee’s Kitchen on the campus of NUNM 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.

Food as Medicine Everyday

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 and nutritionists. The innovation of the ECO Project, the Everyday Cooking series, and Charlee’s Kitchen helped create a new degree program at NUNM: Master of Science in Nutrition.

Food as Medicine Symposium

The culmination of ECO and cooking classes spawned the Food As Medicine Institute. In 2014, the institute hosted the inaugural Food As Medicine Symposium and continues to provide continuing education for physicians, lectures for community members, and brings together local businesses.

Teaching Kitchen Collaborative

In 2024, the National University of Natural Medicine was formally accepted into the Teaching Kitchen Collaborative, a leading invitational network of educational, research, and community organizations with teaching kitchens aimed at improving personal and public health.

“Thank you Bob and Charlee Moore. We wouldn’t be where we are without your generous support. Because of you our mission to change lives through nutrition education has become a reality.”

Courtney Jackson, ND

Mission Statement

The Food as Medicine Institute aims to provide evidenced based nutrition education to individuals, families, and communities while nourishing healthy relationships with whole foods and to educate health care professionals on the use of food as medicine in the prevention and reduction of chronic disease.

Vision Statement

We envision communities free of chronic disease and nourished through healthy whole foods.


  • Promote whole foods and low-processed foods.
  • Encourage a diverse, primarily plant-based diet.
  • Include food from healthy animals.
  • Promote anti-inflammatory food choices.
  • Recognize that individuals have unique food needs.
  • Care about food and its sources.