Meet Dr. Ronald Weiss, MD, an internist with a successful 25-year medical practice in West New York who moonlights as an assistant professor at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark. In June of 2014, he launched Ethos Health, a combination of community supported agriculture (CSA) and his iconoclastic food-as-medicine medical practice.
Weiss, a 55-year-old married father of two, sold his lucrative practice and liquidated all his assets so he could buy a 348-acre, 18th-century farm adjacent to Schooley’s Mountain, in Long Valley, New Jersey. The farm currently supports 90 families on a membership basis with a seasonal repertoire of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Weiss clarified, “I am not saying if you fall down and break your ankle, I can fix it by putting a salve of mugwort on it. You need someone to fix your fracture. I am talking about treating and preventing chronic disease, the heart attacks, the strokes, the cardiovascular disease, the cancers, the illnesses that are taking our economy and our nation down.”
Weiss believes that plant-based “whole foods are the most powerful disease-modifying tools available to practitioners, more powerful than any drugs or surgeries.” Weiss professes, and science agrees, that inflammation is the root of many if not most chronic diseases.
Therefore it stands to reason that nutritionally dense, fresh fruits and vegetables are the best anti-inflammatory medicine money can buy, and it also conforms to the principal, mostly ignored maxim of Western medicine: “First do no harm.”
A Patient’s Recovery Motivated Led Dr. Weiss
For the many debunkers, naysayers, and doubters, Weiss shares a compelling story about one of his patients, 90-year-old Angelina Rotella of West New York, who was wheelchair-bound and suffered from congestive heart failure.
He told her that he could call 911 and have her admitted to the hospital or that she could follow his vegan, dietary prescription instead. Surprisingly, with the help of her daughter, Angelina chose the food-as-medicine option. The results were astounding by any measure.
Weiss explained, “She doesn’t have diabetes anymore and chronic heart failure. She is cooking, sewing and walking around town. I’m not saying it’s easy, but she seized the opportunity and she is transformed.”
Within eight months, she lost 40 pounds. Both of Angelina’s daughters were so impressed with their mother’s recovery that they adopted the diet and lost a total of 80 lbs. and cured their pre-diabetic condition to boot.
Rotella-Suarez, the daughter who faithfully prepared Angelina’s prescription meals, happily exuded: “It sounds like a hoax, but Dr. Weiss is absolutely thorough. He is the best of what the medical profession has to offer. He is not living in a make-believe world.”
Weiss summarized: “Human health is directly related to the health of the environment, the production of food and how it is grown. I see this farm as an opportunity for me to take everything I’ve done all my life, all the biology and chemistry of plants I have studied, and link them to the human biological system.”
The Weiss farm is in a pastoral section of Washington Township, where 39 percent of its acreage is preserved for agriculture. A crumbling German stone barn was restored to serve as an exercise and wellness center where Gala, a nutritional education trainer, will offer cooking demonstrations and other programs. (Source)
The Food as Medicine Paradigm Shift is Slowly Spreading Among MDs
Mark Hyman, MD, is an author, scholar and proponent of functional medicine, which systemically treats the root causes of disease, not merely its symptoms.
Hyman states: “Mounting research shows that there is no magic bullet to treat heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, allergies, digestive disorders, headaches, fatigue, or any of the myriad problems we suffer from in the 21st century.”
Hyman continued, “But increasing evidence also shows us something else. It shows that food is the most powerful ‘drug’ we have not just to prevent, but also treat, cure, and reverse most chronic illnesses.” (Source)
You can find out more about the Weiss farm here.