Cleveland Clinic Opens Farmer's Market

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Nutrition hasn’t always been a significant portion of a doctor’s education, but Michael Roizen, who runs the Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Center, says physicians are coming around. And to help encourage healthy eating among its patients, staff and visitors, the Cleveland Clinic is making it easy – by sponsoring a weekly farmers market right on it’s campus. Eating well, says Roizen, is simple preventative healthcare.

ROIZEN: America is spending twice as much on medical care as Europe. And the reason is because we’ve got twice the chronic disease. And there are three things that lead to twice the chronic disease: tobacco, physical inactivity and food choices. And it’s easy for everyone to change food choices.

The idea was met with plenty of enthusiasm. Despite the threat of rain, the crowd is bustling, with employees and visitors buying all sorts of produce brought in from nearby farms.

FARMER : We’re selling sweet corn, peppers, hot peppers, jalapeños, green peppers, red potatoes, pickles, cucumbers, tomatoes lettuce, Swiss chard, and ugh .. that’s it. That’s what we’re selling today

Organizers say the market isn’t just for staff and patients – its’ really intended to be something for the entire community – a place where fresh produce can be found in an urban environment. It’s also educational – free wellness clinics will be at each market, along with samples of healthy recipes prepared with seasonal items by cafeteria chefs.

CHEF: The theme this week is blueberries. So we are doing a multigrain blueberry pancake and we’re also doing a delicious lemon blueberry chicken salad. Recipes are available if they’d like to make them at home after they taste everything here

And whatever isn’t sold, chefs say, will be bought by the clinic and incorporated into the following day’s cafeteria menu, ensuring that the market is a success for farmers as well. Gretchen Cuda, 90.3

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