Should S.F. Doctors Write Prescriptions for Farmers' Market Produce?

Jodi Hilton/New York Times
In Massachusetts, doctors at three clinics are giving patients coupons for fresh produce.
​Let's see: A bottle of codeine syrup, some Nasonex, and a bunch of arugula. Doctors at three health centers in Massachusetts aren't just telling their patients to eat their vegetables; they're handing out coupons making it more affordable for them to do so, calling it "prescription produce." In a project sponsored by Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited, the Massachusetts Department of Agriculture, and Wholesome Wave, these clinics are working to fight the fast food-induced obesity that so often plagues lower-income families. According to a New York Times story about this operation, the coupons add up to about a dollar a day, which will probably go a long way towards not only helping folks get better nutrition, but also demonstrating how inexpensive and increasingly easy it is to obtain fresh, healthy produce. The effort, notes the Times, "may also help farmers' markets compete with fast-food restaurants selling dollar value meals."

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