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Food as medicine — with potato solutions

Side Delights supports the growing food as medicine and plant-based menu movement to help treat and prevent chronic illness. Naturally plant-based, Side Delights creates lines of healthy and flavorful value-added kits, gourmet, convenience, organic, fresh-cut and bagged potatoes. The trend is making an impact at the store level, with a 20 percent growth in plant-based food at retail and plant-based foods dollar sales outpacing dollar sales of all retail foods. The popularity of the potato, with its versatility and compatibility with other plant-based foods, is also growing, with total retail potato sales reaching a value of $11.6 billion in 2018, an increase of 2.1 percent over 2017.sidee

The term food as medicine centers on using food for the prevention and treatment of chronic physical and mental illness, rather than relying only on medications and supplements. Most food as medicine programs focus on a whole foods plant-based diet with minimally processed foods and added sugar.

While nutritionists and medical professionals have been embracing the concept for decades, it gained national attention last year as House lawmakers created a food is medicine working group, dedicated to improve health and reduce chronic disease. In December, the 2018 farm bill was signed into law with provisions for healthier eating such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which included expansion of the fruit and vegetable subsidy program to $250 million, and a new $25 million produce prescription program. Side Delights promotes the health benefits of potatoes in numerous ways, supporting programs such as the Potatoes USA initiative Potatoes for Performance.

“Shoppers are looking for ways to integrate more plant-based foods into their diets as they become increasingly aware of the health benefits,” said Kathleen Triou, president and chief executive officer of Fresh Solutions Network. “With our growing recipe database and partnerships with consumer-favorite food bloggers, the partners of Fresh Solutions Network, exclusive suppliers of Side Delights brand of fresh potatoes, is providing extra value to its retail customers by driving consumers in-store for plant-based food ingredients that are flavorful, easy-to-prepare and on-trend.”