NEW YORK – Rutgers University in New Jersey, Tel Hai College in the Upper Galilee, and the Knesset Economic Development Task Force in the North and Negev signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday to launch an unprecedented initiative: the New Jersey-Israel Healthy, Functional and Medical Foods Alliance.
The alliance aims to “foster collaboration among the parties focused on scientific research, technology commercialization, and business incubation,” as well as to “develop a world-class business cluster for the development of the healthy, functional and medical foods industry in both Israel and New Jersey.”
Medical foods are foods that contain substantiated health-promoting or disease- preventing benefits beyond the basic delivery of nutrients. In other words, these foods act just like prescription drugs. They help prevent, mitigate or treat diseases such as metabolic syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, lactose intolerance, and other types of food intolerances.
“Today you can show that there is a direct relation between your DNA and what you eat,” Task Force chairman MK Erel Margalit, who was present at the memorandum’s signing, told The Jerusalem Post. “People want to take less medication that they don’t know what the hell they are, and take more things that are natural, that are growing in nature.”
Over the past few years, Margalit has been working to develop Israel region by region.
His vision is to build seven regions of excellence across the country by identifying the strength of each one and by working with local businesses, municipalities, and academic and research institutions.