IHN's Culinary Medicine Club Provides Educational Materials for the Community

This year, the Columbia Culinary Medicine Club (CCMC) made strides towards building a healthier community. Members of the CCMC are students at the Institute of Human Nutrition (IHN) spreading the message “Eat to Treat.” By creating nutrition education resources, hosting cooking workshops, and distributing fresh produce, the CCMC promotes the use of food as a form of medicine.

Led by President Hilary Kim and Vice President Dominic Allaf, the CCMC created infographics to support healthier eating habits and nutrition education in Washington Heights. To accomplish this, the group of 10 students dined at local restaurants, strolled along the Hudson River Greenway and shopped at local grocery stores. 

CCMC advisors Dr. Ileana Vargas and Kyle Murray, RDN were helpful in guiding this endeavor. With their insightful recommendations over the past two semesters, the CCMC recently published the infographics, which cover local places to exercise, healthier orders at nearby restaurants, study snack recommendations, and grocery store shopping tips.

Additionally, the CCMC regularly volunteered at food distribution centers. From delivering meals to homebound seniors to restocking produce at Broadway Community food pantry, these students remained committed to addressing food insecurity and being a beacon of support throughout New York City.

In February, Dr. Vargas and Kyle directed a culinary medicine workshop, where students from the IHN and the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S) medical school learned how to prepare healthy, simple recipes. The CCMC collaborated with VP&S Food for Thought, a club dedicated to educating young clinicians about healthy and sustainable eating habits. Together, the two clubs allowed students across schools to engage with one another and share their passion for nutrition. Ultimately, students came together not only as an opportunity to develop their own culinary skills and build community but to also inspire others to develop nutritious eating habits.

Overall, the CCMC has taken strong initiative this year in improving access to and knowledge about health and nutrition. The success of this club would not be possible without the hard work and support from team members, students, and faculty.  This past year, we collectively took steps in recognizing how food as medicine empowers us to make dietary choices that nourish our bodies, prevent disease, and promote lifelong health. Click here to view educational infographics.