St. John Valley

Seminar on plant-based food comes to Fort Kent

FORT KENT, Maine — Northern Maine Medical Center, in cooperation with Cary Medical Center, will host a Plant Based Nutrition Seminar on Saturday, April 28, from 12 to 4 p.m.  

The program will take place in the Medical Office Building Conference Room directly across from the hospital. Rita Theriault, who has studied plant-based nutrition, will instruct. The cost is $40 per person or $60 per couple.

 Bill Flagg, director of community relations and development at Cary Medical Center, said that working with Northern Maine Medical Center has made it possible to bring the program to Fort Kent.

“We are so pleased that Northern Maine Medical Center has offered us a space to present the program,” said Flagg, who has coordinated the program at Cary since 2012.  “It is great that we can make this information available to people in the St. John Valley and we hope we draw some interest from the area.”

According to Flagg, plant-based nutrition has been demonstrated to prevent and even reverse health disease.  Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., MD, of the famed Cleveland Clinic, began exploring why so many middle aged people were having so much cardiovascular disease.  Esselstyn, who was a vascular surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic, began to study different cultures around the world and found some areas where heart disease was virtually non-existent.  Common to these people was the diet they ate, which was predominantly plant-based.

Cary Medical Center invited Esselstyn to come to Caribou in 2012 and present his findings.  The hospital received a grant from the AstraZeneca Healthcare Foundation which was used to develop a clinical exploration of the diet, and has been offering the Plant Based Seminar ever since.

Theriault, an elementary school teacher in Fort Kent, completed online training in plant-based nutrition.  She attended the seminar at Cary in 2017 and then co-presented the seminar with vegan chef Tammy Smith, and now offers the program on her own.

Pre-registration is required. To register or for more information, call Northern Maine Medical Center at 834-1353.

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