EyeCare America and San Francisco Chef, Ian Marks want People to Feast Their Eyes on Eye Healthy Oysters during March’s AMD/Low Vision Month

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National non-profit urges seniors to take advantage of the free eye exams and sight-saving recipes through its AMD EyeCare Program

Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a devastating eye disease and a leading cause of vision loss in people 65 years or older in the United States.

Although there is no cure for AMD, recent studies show that eating foods rich in antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc, may reduce the risk of AMD, or slow its progression in some people.

In light of this, the national non-profit organization EyeCare America, has teamed up with celebrity chefs from across the country to provide recipes that include foods rich in vitamins and antioxidants such as oysters which are a good source for zinc.

Here is a wonderful recipe provided by Chef Ian Marks, executive chef for Hog Island Oyster Company in San Francisco. His Bright Eyed Oysters Beurre Rouge makes a wonderful eye-healthy appetizer.

Ingredients:
6 small oysters
Rock salt

For the Beurre Rouge sauce:
1/2 shallots minced
1 cup port
Squeeze of a lemon
1/2 cup unsalted sweet butter chilled
Salt to taste

Directions:
For Beurre Rouge Sauce: In a small saucepan, cook shallots, port and lemon down on medium high heat until reduced by 2/3. Turn off heat, break the chilled butter into pieces and add one piece to the saucepan, whisking until gone before adding more butter one piece at a time. Add salt to taste.

For Oysters: Turn on broiler in the oven. Set all oysters un-shucked in oven. Approximately 2-3 minutes. Once they pop open, cut off the top shell with a steak knife and pull them out and top with the warm Beurre Rouge sauce. Place a thick layer of rock salt on plate and arrange oysters on top. Serve with lemon.

Additionally, EyeCare America urges seniors who have not been diagnosed with AMD to take advantage of the free eye exams available through its AMD EyeCare Program by calling 1-866-324-EYES (3937) to see if they qualify. Or visit eyecareamerica.org for more information and to download even more eye healthy recipes.

About Ian Marks, Executive Chef Hog Island Oyster Co.
Chef Ian Marks is a native San Franciscan whose world revolves around food. He has been cooking since he’s been old enough to wield a knife. Starting in his father’s kitchen, he chopped, diced, sauced and fried foods and until it was time to get a real job.

His culinary career began at San Francisco’s Liberty Café as a line cook and under the supervision of his chef brother Joel Baecker (Pizza Politana) who taught him everything he knew about cooking… Think San Francisco’s version of Top Chef’s Voltaggio brothers. Chef Marks moved from there to the artisanal charcuterie, The Fatted Calf. Owners Taylor Boetticher and Taponia Miller took him in and showed him a whole new exciting world of culinary delights. In 2005, he was picked up by Hog Island Oyster Co. where he worked his way up to Executive Chef. Hog Island gave him the freedom to experiment with new foods, create new and exciting flavor profiles to the delight of the restaurants patrons. He has been there for 4 and half years.

Chef Marks will begin a new venture in summer 2010 with the opening of his very own San Francisco restaurant Salt Block. Stay tuned… More information on Chef Ian Marks can be found at: http://www.chefianmarks.com

About EyeCare America
Founded in 1985, EyeCare America, a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, is committed to the preservation of sight, accomplishing its mission through public service and education. EyeCare America’s public service programs provide eye care services to the medically underserved and for those at increased risk for eye disease through its corps of 7,000 volunteer ophthalmologists dedicated to serving their communities. More than 90 percent of the care made available is provided with no out-of-pocket cost to the patients. Public service includes programs for seniors, glaucoma, diabetes, AMD and children, and is the largest program of its kind in American medicine. Since its inception, EyeCare America has helped more than 1 million people.

EyeCare America is a non-profit organization whose success is made possible through charitable contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations. More information can be found at: http://www.eyecareamerica.org

Media Contact:
Allison Neves, Communications Director
415.561.8518,
aneves(at)aao(dot)org

NOTE TO EDITORS AND PRODUCERS: High-resolution images and b-roll as well as interviews with EyeCare America spokespeople available upon request.

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