Food as Medicine: the next big freelance opportunity

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The “food is medicine” movement is a growing recognition that nutrition plays a crucial role in preventing, managing, and even treating a wide range of chronic diseases. It advocates for integrating nutrition counselling and food-based interventions into standard medical care. But how do freelancers come into the equation? Read more to find out.

Why is food as medicine a thing – now?

The food as medicine movement is gaining momentum as people increasingly recognise the power of food to prevent and manage chronic diseases. Our ancestors had a closer relationship with food, the land and less processed food. Chronic pain and sleepless nights are becoming epidemic across the world and people are asking why and why now? What has changed in the past few decades? Our food.

United States consumers, arguably some of the most sought-after in the world for their purchasing power are looking for natural alternatives to traditional prescription medicine that can come with life-altering side effects and sky-high insurance bills. This is a huge market opportunity.

A 2022 survey by the Global Wellness Institute found that 74% of consumers are interested in using food as medicine. Another 2023 report by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) found that 14.5% of adults in the United States use complementary and integrative health approaches, including dietary supplements and functional foods.

Food as medicine is also becoming a popular topic on the health and self-help book and podcast circuit. Mel Robins, Dr Rangan Chatterjee, Dan Buettner, Yalda Alaoui, Tim Spector, Dr Joe Dispenza and Dr Mark Hyman are just a few of the big names and influencers talking about food as medicine in some way.

You could be in one of two camps. Someone who is already passionate about nutrition and health or someone who has let their health slide to such a degree they need to take action to avoid getting a serious disease. Whatever camp you fall into right now, you can start a freelance business that helps others harness the power of food to improve their well-being. Above all, you will be helping yourself.

This mini-guide will walk you through the initial process of how you might approach a business in this burgeoning sector. The great thing is if you put what you learn to practice you will be healthier for it.



Benefits of Starting a Food as Medicine Space Business

Growing Industry and Market

  • The global functional food market is projected to reach a value of $177.4 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 6.6% from 2022 to 2027.
  • The global nutraceutical market is expected to reach a value of $277.7 billion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 10.8% from 2022 to 2025.

Freelance Jobs in the Food as Medicine Movement

The growth of the food as medicine movement is creating a range of freelance job opportunities across various disciplines, including:

  • Food Bloggers and Writers: Creating content that educates and inspires individuals on the use of food as medicine.
  • Nutrition Consultants: Providing personalised dietary advice and guidance to individuals seeking to optimize their health through food.
  • Yoga Instructors and Wellness Coaches: Integrating food-based practices, such as mindful eating and Ayurveda, into their wellness programs.
  • Food Stylists and Photographers: Creating visually appealing content for food blogs, websites, and social media platforms.
  • Researchers and Writers on Culinary Medicine: Conducting research and writing articles or books on the science and practice of using food as medicine.
  • Food Delivery Services Catering to Health-Conscious Individuals: Providing meal plans and home-cooked meals that align with the principles of food as medicine.
  • Educators and Facilitators of Food as Medicine Workshops and Seminars: Sharing knowledge and skills on how to incorporate food as medicine into one’s lifestyle.

As the food-as-medicine movement continues to evolve and gain prominence, the demand for freelance professionals with expertise in this field is likely to increase significantly.

There are many reasons why starting a freelance business in this space can be a rewarding and fulfilling career path. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Help others live healthier lives. You can use your skills and expertise to help people make informed choices about their food and improve their overall health.
  • Create your own schedule. As a freelancer, you have the flexibility to set your own hours and work from anywhere in the world.
  • Become a thought leader in the field. The food as medicine movement is constantly evolving, so there is always room to learn and grow. As you gain experience, you can share your knowledge and insights with others.
  • Make a difference in the world. You can help to promote a more healthy and sustainable food system.

1st Steps to Start Your Food as Medicine Business

  1. Identify your niche. There are many different ways to specialise in food as medicine. Consider your interests, expertise, and target audience when choosing your niche. For example, you could focus on:
    • Creating personalised nutrition plans for certain ailments or diseases based on scientific studies and professional training/certifivation
    • Educating people about the benefits of functional foods.
    • Developing recipes that are both healthy and delicious.
    • Consulting with businesses and experts on how to create healthier food options.
  2. Build your skills and knowledge. There are many resources available to help you learn about food as medicine. Take online courses, attend workshops, and read books and articles on the subject.
  3. Create a strong online presence. Create a website, blog or podcast to showcase your work and expertise. Optimise your website for search engines so that people can find you when they search for information about food as medicine.
  4. Market your services. Let people know what you offer by networking with other professionals in the field, attending industry events, and writing guest blog posts.
  5. Build relationships with clients. Offer free consultations or sample services to potential clients. Provide excellent service to build a loyal client base.

Tips for Getting Healthier While You Freelance

As you start your freelance business, don’t forget to care for yourself and record how you did it. This might be useful for your target audience who could replicate some of your healthy habits. But if you are not there yet, here are a few tips for getting into the healthier while you work mindset:

  • Prioritise your health. Make time for regular exercise, healthy eating, and stress management. You need to be the embodiment of good health if you want your target audience to trust you and see the benefits of the food as medicine movement
  • Say no to overtime. Don’t overcommit yourself, and take breaks when you need them. Schedule them in if you have to.
  • Find a supportive community. Connect with other freelancers who can share tips and support you on your journey.
  • Invest in your well-being. Take classes, read books, or seek professional help if you need it.

By following these steps and tips, you can start your journey to becoming a freelancer dedicated to the exciting world of food as medicine and aim to get healthier while you do it.

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