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Greenwich Eatery Preaches 'Food Is Medicine'

Amy Guerrieri, far right, talks with a customer at GrassRxOOTS, the new vegan station at the Upper Crust Bagel Company in Old Greenwich. Employees Heath Duncan, left, and Jen Eazarsky look on. Photo Credit: Eric Gendron
GrassRxOOTS features a selection of local, organic and raw vegan food, along with selected meats as part of a "paleo" diet. Photo Credit: Eric Gendron

GREENWICH, Conn. -- The owners of the Upper Crust Bagel Company debuted GrassRxOOTS, a new vegan health food section of their Old Greenwich eatery on Tuesday.

Amy Guerrieri, who owns Upper Crust Bagel Company with her husband Robert, is teaming up with Greenwich-based geneticist Dr. Stephen Murphy to produce and sell and a scientifically researched raw and vegan diet that positively influence metabolism -- and maybe even cure diseases.

Guerrieri and Murphy met when Amy's daughter was dealing with health and weight issues. After many tests, Murphy discovered that Guerrieri's daughter could not absorb processed carbohydrates.

Murphy and the Guerrieris figured out a diet that would allow her to lose weight and get healthy.

"Food is medicine," Murphy said. "It's a bio-active compound that our bodies absorb and we react to it. The food is designed to act on us. We can actually make a diet that can prevent disease."

With Murphy's weight-loss expertise and Guerrieri's years of vegan experience, the two set out to create a vegan diet that would compensate for the lack of protein that is often in traditional vegan food.

The diet worked so well for Guerrieri's daughter, the duo set out to share their efforts with the public with a "grab-and-go" station at Upper Crust Bagel Company.

"We've had this space for 20 years and Dr. Murphy and I thought it would be a great place to start it together," Guerrieri said. "We want to educate people. We have the customer flow here, so we thought we'd try it, see if it works and move on."

GrassRxOOTS's products include raw vegan food sourced from local farmers and distributors, along with selected meats that's part of what Murphy calls a "paleo diet."

Murphy explained that some meat is okay to eat on the "vegan-light" diet as long as it cooked at low temperatures for a longer period of time. He says that traditional methods of cooking meat introduce carcinogens into the food.

If GrassRxOOTS is successful in Old Greenwich, Guerrieri and Murphy hope to spread their findings -- and their food -- all over the country.

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