May 16, 2018

Podcast: Farmers markets founder looks back at legacy

Fifteen years ago, Preston Maring, MD, the founder of the Food for Health blog, had an idea. He was strolling through his hospital lobby and noticed vendors selling jewelry and other trinkets. “Why not offer something here that is closely tied to people’s health?” he thought. Not long after that epiphany, a farmers market was born at Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland Medical Center, the first such organic farmers market at a hospital in the U.S.

Since then, that idea of offering healthy food in a health care setting has taken off. There are now more than 50 farmers markets at Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics across the country, and many other health care organizations have opened them as well. Dr. Maring also started sharing seasonal recipes soon after the first market opened in 2003, first by email and then posting to a “farmers market recipe” blog.

That blog became Food for Health after Dr. Maring retired in 2013. Today, more than 500 of his recipes are available on the blog, as are those from more than 20 Kaiser Permanente physicians, nurses and employees, including his son, Ben Maring, MD, now a primary care physician at Oakland Medical Center.