If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what happens when the doctor is the one selling the apples? As far as Dr. Jeremy Wiseman is concerned, the patient is better off for it. Every week, Wiseman Family Practice delivers healthful foods—to patients and non-patients alike—from nearby farms such as Richardson Farms, Johnson’s Backyard Garden and Humble Rooster Farm. Any visitor to the practice’s site can order things like beef from grassfed cows, low-temp pasteurized milk, local produce and other grub; pay about what they’d pay at a CSA program or farmers market; and Wiseman’s practice itself arranges delivery.
Twenty years ago, a doctor selling groceries may have sounded the quack alarm, but given how people have embraced the healthier-food movement, Wiseman wonders why more doctors haven’t tried something like this sooner. “Food is one of the biggest cornerstones of disease prevention,” he says. “It also plays a major role in treatment. If you take a larger view that a doctor’s job is to prevent disease and treat the whole person, then making the doctor a connection to a food source makes perfect sense.”
For Wiseman, selling a dozen eggs from pasture-raised chickens is just another tool in the integrative approach to medicine he’s embraced since he started practicing in 2009. He doesn’t shy away from conventional medications, but he tries to balance that with more natural remedies when possible: acupuncture, yoga therapy, chiropractic and now, local food delivery. Always open to new ideas, he’s also installed produce gardens at the Cedar Park and Central Austin locations of his practice, and he produces and stars in regular online videos about healthful living. “We’re trying to define a better model for primary care that goes beyond just drugs and surgery,” he says.
Wiseman says he found inspiration in the way Whole Foods Market revolutionized the grocery store model, but he’s hardly out to compete with the food industry. He just sees the venture as another of his services—one that connects medicine and food in a more tangible way. “Delivering [local] farm food serves a larger purpose of giving patients more natural options for staying healthy,” he says. “Plus…I think it’s cool.”
By Steve Wilson • Photography by Allison Marras
For more information, visit wisemanfamilypractice.com