Community Partner Spotlight: Dr. Geeta Maker-Clark

This month we are celebrating National Nutrition Month and Women’s History Month, and we can’t think of any time better to reflect back on last month’s incredible professional development session for our Food Education Fellows with Dr. Geeta Maker-Clark focusing on FES 5: Food impacts health.

Dr. Maker-Clark is a physician, speaker, thought leader, mother, educator, and activist and is co-director of one of the first Culinary Medicine programs in the country at the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine. She believes in the power of food as medicine and started the first Food As Medicine CME symposium solely dedicated to emerging education in nutritional science and cooking for health professionals and the public. We’re so grateful to have met Dr. Maker-Clark through her Food is Power program, which she runs with her medical students at Chicago’s Montessori School of Englewood. The program is designed for middle schoolers and includes a decolonized, food justice-centered curriculum. Additionally, Dr. Maker-Clark continues her work as an advocate and thought leader in the food justice space as one of twelve 2019-2021 Castanea Fellows. 

In her mini-course on nutrition basics with our Fellows, Dr. Maker-Clark shared about her work in food justice and medicine and how integrative medicine “uses food and nutrition as a means of not just preventing disease but also as a therapeutic intervention.” To begin to understand how food is medicine, she detailed how healthy eating is a language: a combination of our identities on a molecular and spiritual level, our intake of macro and micronutrients, and our expressions of our being (from our cultures, our religions, our beliefs, and our families). She then detailed the differences of different geographical diets before diving into roles and foods associated with the three macronutrients: proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. We can’t think of a better leader in the health field to think about how food plays a role in the lives of teachers and students, and we’re so grateful to Dr. Maker-Clark for sharing her work and passion with us!

Be sure to check out her integrative and holistic work in food in nutrition and learn about how you can work with her by following her on IG @foodplantsdancedoc or visiting her website: drgeetamakerclark.com 

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