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  1. News Release

  2. Dec 9, 2022

Physicians Group Graduates Largest-Ever Class of Plant-Based Cooking Educators

Licensed Food For Life Instructors Are Available for the First Time in Kansas and Oklahoma, as well as Hong Kong, Tunisia, and Australia

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In the largest ever group of its kind, 68 new instructors and institutions in locations across the globe, including Hong Kong, Tunisia, and South Africa, have completed the Food for Life plant-based nutrition education and cooking class program. The classes are coordinated and taught by experts at the Physicians Committee, a nonprofit organization of more than 17,000 physicians.

“We are very excited about this new group of instructors, with 13 languages spoken among them,” says Dr. Anna Herbynutrition education program manager, who helped conduct the eight intensive weeks of training. “They now go out into their their communities to start teaching classes, just in time for New Year’s resolutions to improve health and lose weight.”

Among the new U.S. instructors are Vicki Beam in Oklahoma and Chenese White in Kansas, two new states for the Food for Life program. Adventist Health Ukiah Valley in California was trained to become a Food for Life institution.

“Many of the new instructors have inspirational stories about their personal health triumphs that resulted from adopting a plant-based diet—from surviving cancer and heart attacks to overcoming endometriosis and rheumatoid arthritis,” explains Dawnyel Pryor, director of nutrition education. The instructors and institutions also include doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, chefs, and a registered dietitian. Nearly one-third of the instructors are people of color.

“Food For Life is leading the way in the teaching kitchen arena by going above and beyond what typical cooking classes offer by setting their instructors up to teach within their communities about how food can work for us and our health,” says Chef Dustin Harder, culinary specialist for Physicians Committee. “The education in the curriculum exceeds the basics of cooking recipes and sets instructors up to share with their students how to live a happier, healthier, and more balanced life through the foods they choose to consume.”

The Food for Life training also awarded scholarships and grants to 20 instructors and institutions who demonstrated both a financial need and a commitment to reaching underserved communities. More than half of the new instructors and institutions are seeking to reach underserved communities.

Among the scholarship and grant recipients are Vicki Beam, who has personal ties to the Native American community and plans to teach classes for four Native American nations in her area.

Chenese White works with a local nonprofit that delivers produce boxes to seniors and other community members in need. She plans to use her connections through that organization and local churches to reach people living in areas affected by food apartheid, those experiencing food insecurity, and youth and low-income mothers.

In India, Archana Saraf plans to leverage her involvement with a sustainable living initiative to reach people of limited income, youth, cancer survivors, and women's groups.

The Food for Life program now has 385 instructors and institutions in 32 countries and in 47 states in the U.S. Food for Life is an award-winning nutrition education and cooking class program that provides an innovative approach to diet-related chronic diseases. Since 2001, Food for Life has been a pioneer in delivering hands-on information about the direct role of plant-based nutrition in health and disease prevention to communities around the world.

To learn more about the Food for Life program and to find a class near you, visit To arrange an interview with a new FFL graduate, please contact Leslie at 443 534 5803.

Media Contact

Leslie Raabe



Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in education and research.

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