Med Students Get Hands Dirty Growing Food

BUFFALO, N.Y., April 24 (UPI) — University at Buffalo medical school students are planting a vegetable garden to improve their own diets and learn more about nutrition for their patients.

Second-year medical students Jennifer Chang and Dan Donovan have organized a group that calls itself Sprouts, to plant a one-quarter-acre garden on campus.

The medical school students said they were determined to motivate their colleagues to change their fast-food eating habits after confronting what an unhealthy lifestyle can do to patients.

“During our hospital rounds we saw so much chronic disease — diabetes, heart disease, obesity — all lifestyle diseases that are preventable with a healthy, nutritious diet,” Chang said in a statement.

“Then we looked around at the medical school students, and realized that many of us opt for cheap processed foods that are full of fats and sugars, contrary to what we are taught to tell patients about the importance of daily fruit and vegetable intake.”

Chang and Donovan discussed the garden with other medical students, organized a group, raised money and tested the concept by selling baskets of apples in the back of classrooms.

“We sold hundreds of apples,” Chang said.

Sprouts grew to nearly 200 students who are preparing to plant their garden. The students said the vegetables will be distributed to local charities, used for cooking lessons and demonstrations and divided among garden volunteers.

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