Case for Support


Arizona PBS
Culinary Medicine Program Puts New Ways of Approaching Common Diseases on the Table


The Culinary Medicine Program was founded by Farshad (Dr. Shad) Fani Marvasti, MD, MPH — director of Public Health, Prevention and Health Promotion at the college — in response to student interest and the need for redesigning medical education to include innovative approaches to nutrition education and food systems.

The program aspires to use food as medicine — blending the art of cooking with the science of medicine to enhance nutrition in medical education — and to educate through service learning with an understanding of food systems and food policies as social determinants of health.


Our vision is to create a program that includes an educational redesign of the medical school curriculum, community service projects and research endeavors to enhance nutrition knowledge and empower local neighborhoods and patients with education and resources that improve their ability to access healthy food, enhancing their personal health.


  • Through innovative, service-learning opportunities, teach medical students and health professional students how to use nutrition and food as medicine to promote health and to prevent, treat and, at times, reverse the diseases of our time.
  • Educate medical students, health professional students and the general public on the role of food policy in determining health outcomes.
  • Advocate for changes that will fix our broken food system as a means of combatting the diseases of our time.
  • Engage the community through service and public discourse on the role of food as a social determinant of individual health and as an accelerant of climate change.
  • Establish partnerships and develop collaborative initiatives with local chefs, farmers, schools, non-profit service organizations, progressive businesses and other likeminded groups to further the above goals.

Community Engagement

Farshad Fani Marvasti, MD, MPH
Director, The Culinary Medicine Program

Farshad Fani Marvasti, MD