Is food the key to solving our healthcare crisis? In this episode marking the two-year anniversary of Add Passion and Stir, Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts and Washington DC Chef Todd Gray (Equinox, Manna) discuss nutrition as the root cause of our spiraling healthcare costs and the role of Congress with Debbie and Billy Shore. “Food is medicine. What we eat determines our health outcomes in a whole range of areas,” says Congressman McGovern. “We are cooking and operating our restaurant in the way that we are living our lives. I have so many customers changing the way they eat for a multitude of reasons many of them health reasons,” says five-time James Beard Foundation nominee Gray of his healthy vegetable-forward menus that have established him as a leader in the DC sustainable food movement.
McGovern wants to reframe the debate over food programs like SNAP from how much they cost to how much they save. “If we can show you over a ten-year period that you could actually save money, then why would [The Congressional Budget Office] score it as a cost? Hunger and food insecurity in Massachusetts costs about $2.4B a year in avoidable health care costs,” he says. The guests agree that hunger is ultimately a political problem. “We have the food, we have the money, we have the knowledge of what we need to do, we have the infrastructure… we have everything but the political will,” explains McGovern.
Listen to these powerful anti-hunger crusaders talk about how they fight for healthier communities.