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Essential cooking: chef Phil Jones talks about the good with healthy food

David Lein


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In this episode:

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  • How Healthy Plant-Based Foods Can Make a Difference in Detroit Communities
  • Chef Phil Jones on his own connection to the city
  • Subtle and tasty ways to improve your health
  • Jones on using restaurant resources in early COVID to feed thousands
  • How telling the right stories about food can contribute to equity in black and brown communities

When the pandemic began in the spring of 2020, chef Phil Jones was preparing to launch Farmacy Food, a meal prep company that aims to use healthy plant-based foods to address the health issues facing many people in the world. the city of Detroit. He started working on the project after meeting Kwaku Osei through a mutual friend.

“The goals were the same; try to make a difference in black and brown communities by using whole foods, using technology, using the infrastructure of good to effect change in food systems,” said Chef Jones. “We found that there are needs right here in our community that could be met more easily.”

Originally intended to be a brick-and-mortar establishment, Chef Jones had to focus on providing home meal prep kits as the pandemic made it difficult to start a new restaurant. Jones wants her food to solve the health issues faced by people who live in areas of the city where fresh food isn’t available or affordable.

“We’re always trying to figure out the best way to bring about the changes we’re looking for in our community,” says Jones. “We call it therapeutic nutritional intervention, where we do things with food in order to make changes in our daily lives and our health.”

Jones produces a line of retail products to do just that, including a ranch dressing loaded with turmeric to help reduce inflammation in the body.

“Here is somewhere where there’s an intervention, but it’s a tasty intervention,” Jones said.

While working to get his business started, Jones was also instrumental in connecting food charities across Detroit to use restaurant resources that might otherwise have been wasted when restaurants closed.

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Photo credit: Wendy Wei, Pexels

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  • David Leins is a podcast coordinator and producer at WDET. He also oversees the StoryMakers program. When he’s not doing radio and podcasting, David is probably hiking somewhere marveling at the trees.

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