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Farmers Market Show: A Doctor's Tomato Tricks


Preston Maring at a Kaiser Permanente farmers market. (Kaiser Permanente)

The words "hospital" and "good food" don't seem to go together naturally. Kaiser Permanente is trying to change that. The nation's largest not-for-profit health plan runs dozens of farmers markets around the country and is committed to buying more local fresh fruits and vegetables to serve in its hospitals.

Those are two reasons why this weekend, Preston Maring, associate physician in chief at East Bay Medical Center in Oakland, Calif., will be promoting a Kaiser's new cookbook, "Eating Well in Season," at farmers markets in Washington.

On Saturday, Maring will be at FreshFarm's H Street market. He'll do a cooking demonstration with chefs from Through the Kitchen Door, a Washington nonprofit organization that teaches cooking skills to low-income families and new immigrants. On Sunday, he'll raffle off some of those cookbooks at FreshFarm's Dupont Circle market.

"I'm convinced that if families can even cook one day a week more than they do, they can save $1,000 a year," Maring told me. "I'm a doctor, but I know that one of the best things I could do for people is show them how to mince garlic and cut onions and cherry tomatoes."

Here's how he handles those tomatoes: He puts a Tupperware lid on the counter and arranges a dozen small tomatoes on it. Then he puts another lid directly on top of the tomatoes to hold them in place. One sideways slice of a chef's knife cuts through all the tomatoes in a single motion.

-- Jane Black

By Jane Black  |  July 24, 2009; 12:00 PM ET
Categories:  To Market, To Market  | Tags: Jane Black, farmers markets  
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