Food is Medicine Initiative

Over half of American adults suffer from at least one chronic, diet-related disease. Though food is the culprit, it can also be the cure: food and nutrition interventions can aid in prevention and management, and even reverse chronic disease. Introduced at large scale, proven interventions can save thousands of lives and billions in healthcare costs each year.

Food & Society’s Food is Medicine Research Action Plan, published in 2022, quickly became the definitive go-to source of all Food is Medicine research—it is the only comprehensive overview of all peer-reviewed nutrition-intervention studies. The revision, published in 2024 with continuing generosity from the Walmart Foundation, fully updates the quickly evolving body of research and authoritatively describes the opportunities as well as the challenges of scaling, evaluating, and delivering health-promoting food where it is most needed. The report keeps equity and full community inclusion at its core.

Food & Society released the 2024 Food is Medicine Research Action Plan on April 9th. The presentation included a review of updated research and the action plan’s recommendations. A panel of discussion focused on what is happening on the ground in Food is Medicine.


Welcome from Corby Kummer, executive director of Food & Society at the Aspen Institute

2024 Food is Medicine Research Action Plan presentation, thanks to support from the Walmart Foundation, with co-authors:

Kurt Hager, PhD, MS 
UMass Chan Medical School

Alexandra Lewin-Zwerdling, PhD, MPA
Fruitful LLC

Food is Medicine On the Ground Panel Discussion with:

Luisa Furstenberg-Beckman, MPH 
Produce Rx Manager, DC Greens

Jillian Griffith, MSPH, RDN
Sr. Health Partnerships Manager, Amazon Access and Aspen Institute Food Leaders Fellow

Tom McDougall
Founder and CEO, 4P Foods and Aspen Institute Food Leaders Fellow

Pamela Schwartz, MPH
Executive Director, Community Health, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals

The report synthesizes the latest peer-reviewed Food is Medicine research and outlines a roadmap for equity-centered research

[Washington, DC] Food & Society at the Aspen Institute has released its 2024 Food is Medicine Research Action Plan. This report builds on the 2022 version, outlining a roadmap for equity-centered research that can revolutionize how diet-related conditions are prevented, treated, and managed in the United States. It is the first report to pull together the latest peer-reviewed Food is Medicine research in a digestible, comprehensible, and action-oriented format.

Food & Society in the News

Listen to UCLA LiveWell podcast
Text reads: Episode #72 Corby Kummer. Live Well logo placed in the upper left corner with the title Food as Medicine in black lettering over a light bue circle. In a blue box a quote from the interview, "It's the people and issues around food that have been the basis of my whole writing career. Photo of Corby Kummer with his face resting on the palm of his hand wearing glasses, a button down shirt, and blue blazer.

Listen to Corby Kummer’s recent interview on Food as Medicine with UCLA LiveWell podcast on Spotify or ApplePodcasts

This episode is abundant in resources for anyone and everyone interested in food equity, health, community activism, or journalism. Corby Kummer is more than a renowned journalist and food writer, he is a changemaker working to break down the barriers to nutrient-rich and culturally-appropriate food.

He asks the sort of perspective-shifting questions, as a writer and as the Executive Director of the Food and Society Program and the Aspen Institute, that can reframe our understanding of food access and food justice and, as he says, can help shine light where it’s not been shined before. This episode really dives into the importance of building community trust between researchers and communities and most importantly, bringing different groups together with cross-sector knowledge to create meaningful change in the food equity world.

Food is Medicine California Style

In the shadow of California’s State Capitol, over two dozen researchers and practitioners gathered in May to discuss Food is Medicine implementation and advancement. The group deliberated on balancing equity with the need for speed and rigor while revisiting our 2022 Action Plan. They also brainstormed ideas for data sharing and bringing local action to scale nationally.

The learnings from this gathering were critical to our response to the National Institute of Health’s Request for Information on FIM research opportunities

our advisors

  • Ann Albright

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    former Director of Division of Diabetes Translation, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

  • Karen Bachman-Carter

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    former Public Health Nutritionist and Diabetes Educator, Indian Health Service

  • Seth A. Berkowitz

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

  • Joslyn Brenton

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Associate Professor of Sociology, Ithaca College

  • Bridget Carle

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Senior Vice President, Public Sector Practice, Guy Carpenter

  • Juliana Crawford

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    National Executive Vice President, Consumer Health Solutions, American Heart Association

  • Cathryn Couch

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Founder and CEO, Ceres Community Project

  • Mitchell Elkind

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Chief Clinical Science Officer, American Heart Association

  • Kofi Essel

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Director, Food as Medicine, Elevance Health

  • Katie Garfield

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Director of Whole Person Care and Clinical Instructor, Health Law and Policy Clinic, Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, Harvard Law School

  • Tiffany Gary-Webb

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, and Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

  • Kurt Hager

    Author and Advisor, Food is Medicine

    UMass Chan Medical School

  • Sheila Hanley

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Senior Advisor, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Innovation Center

  • Devon Klatell

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Vice President, Food Initiative, The Rockefeller Foundation

  • Zhongyu Li

    Co-Author and Advisor, Food is Medicine

    PhD Candidate, Nutrition Health Services, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University

  • Jen Muse

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Associate Science and Medicine Advisor, American Heart Association

  • Vanessa Nicholson-Robinson

    Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine

  • Gita Rampersad

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    former Vice President, Equity and Programs, Feeding America

  • Pamela Schwartz

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Executive Director of Community Health, Kaiser Permanente

  • Hilary Seligman

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Professor of Medicine and of Epidemiology, University of California, San Francisco

  • Lauren Shweder Biel

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    former Executive Director and Co-Founder, DC Greens

  • Karen Siegel

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Epidemiologist, Senior Service Fellow, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Emma Steinberg

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Chef and Pediatric Hospitalist, Newton Wellesley Hospital

  • Andrea Talhami

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Programs Director, DC Greens

  • Jean Terranova

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Director of Food and Health Policy, Community Servings

  • Alissa Wassung

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Executive Director, Food Is Medicine Coalition

  • Marianna Wetherill

    Advisor, Food is Medicine Initiative

    George Kaiser Family Foundation Chair in Population Healthcare; Assistant Professor of Health Promotion Sciences and Family and Community Medicine

  • Norbert Wilson

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Director of Food and Agriculture Policy, Duke Divinity School and Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke

  • Allison Yoder

    Advisor, Food is Medicine

    Nutrition in Food Retail Program Development Fellow, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation

Our team