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Nourish is a subsidiary of Stanford Medicine’s Center for Asian Health Research and Education (CARE). Stanford CARE has cultivated a rich network of AANHPI leaders in a broad range of industries centered around one goal: improve the health of Asians everywhere. The heart of our work, however, is concentrated within Nourish. Our co-founder, Minal Moharir, MD, is an occupational medicine physician who has practiced in India and the United States. Through her decades of practicing medicine, she has witnessed the effects of suboptimal nutrition on chronic diseases and injuries. Our other co-founder, Latha Palaniappan, MD, is a world-renowned researcher in the field of Asian health and also a co-founder of Stanford CARE. She is passionate about building a future of Asian health that recognizes the heterogeneity of Asian ethnicities. Our head registered dietitian, Lily Phan, RD, MS, is driven by her family history of diabetes and metabolic diseases. From Nourish’s inception, Lily has advised our team to build resources with our families and neighbors in mind. Nourish has two chefs on board dedicated to bringing delicious, easy, healthful recipes to the public. Chef Dama, a former chef at Google, brings his industry experience to help us fine-tune our recipes. Chef Tu David Phu, former Top Chef alum and Emmy-nominated filmmaker, brings his passion for Asian representation, social justice, and downright tasty food to Nourish. Nourish’s dream is to recruit chefs and registered dietitians from every Asian subgroup we serve to make sure we are putting out the most culturally tailored content we can. Finally, we have a group of fifteen undergraduate and graduate interns who volunteer their time to create content for our audience that is easy to understand. Our cooking videos, educational videos, cookbooks, infographics, guides, and more are all made by our interns. Each intern is motivated by their family history of diabetes, appreciation for their Asian heritage, and their shared passion for building a strong future for Asian health.
About the Organization:
$0 - $50,000
Imagine sitting in your doctor’s office to discuss your insatiable thirst, tingling hands and feet, and fatigue. Your doctor comes in, and you hear the five words you have been dreading: you have type 2 diabetes. Your doctor’s recommendations are simple yet jarring. No more rice. No more noodles. Consider going on the Mediterranean diet. Later, you search for diabetes-friendly recipes and find a list of 500 recipes by Mayo Clinic. After several minutes of scrolling, you feel crushed because none of the dishes appeal to you. (In fact, we counted merely twenty recipes on the list that are remotely Asian.) How can you make sustainable lifestyle changes if all your options tell you to eat a quinoa salad at the same table your family is eating their traditional dishes? Are you just destined for dialysis someday like others in your family? Unfortunately, this is the reality for millions of Asians in the United States. In fact, 1 out of 2 Asians in the United States is either diabetic or pre-diabetic. Despite Asians’ high risk of developing diabetes compared to non-Hispanic white Americans, there is a scarcity of resources that make balanced nutrition for Asians simple, widely accessible, and culturally sensitive. Current projections show that Asians will make up 9.1% of the US population by 2060. If we do not act now to address diabetes in a manner that helps Asians overcome cultural, linguistic, and financial barriers to health, the potential economic effects may be devastating.
Nourish aims to change the way Asians think about food. Instead of telling Asians to ditch certain foods, we try to show them ways they can complement their beloved cultural dishes to form nutritionally balanced meals. In addition, instead of giving one-size-fits-all advice, we create content that is specifically for individuals of Filipino, Vietnamese, Indian, Chinese, and Japanese descent. Nourish’s approach to nutrition is multifaceted. To put education and quick tips in the hands of Asians everywhere, we develop and share free, research-backed content that emphasizes simple swaps for familiar dishes. Our content ranges from simple infographics to short-form cooking videos. To drive our content production, we combine the talents of chefs and registered dietitians to develop easy, delicious, and diabetes-friendly recipes. However, most importantly, these recipes retain the taste, texture, and familiarity of the traditional foods we love. Nourish also collaborates with tech industry partners to ensure that Asians will benefit from groundbreaking innovations in food technology. For example, we are working with the Institute of Future Health at UC Irvine to develop a comprehensive food database that can identify food purchasing and consumption patterns by different racial/ethnic groups and relate that data to geographic health outcomes. Technology like this can help drive research that will shape the future of food policy in the United States. Thinking ahead, our first goal is to continue our academic research to ensure our online interventions and recommendations by the American Diabetes Association, which we follow, are effective in helping Asians manage their diabetes. Our second goal is to involve more of the Asian community in our content development. This collaboration might come in the form of regular focus groups, Q&A panels, or conferences. Ultimately, we are a community-driven project and want to give our loved ones the power to shape the future of Asian health. Our third goal goes beyond the online landscape. Although we teach thousands of online users, we want to ensure that nutritious food ends up on their dining tables. Our vision is to devise hands-on learning methods, whether through teaching kitchens, well-designed grocery campaigns, or nutritious ready-to-eat products.