For years, people have complained about the quality of hospital food. It seems that for a place where you go to have health care issues addressed, the lack of appealing, healthy and appetizing food is tragic. However, in a new movement toward utilizing local farmers for produce, it seems that hospitals may be getting their act together.
Local Sustainable Programs
In an effort to take advantage of the interest in farmers’ markets across the country, a program has evolved that helps hospitals coordinate with local farmers for their food needs. Healthy Food in Healthcare assists farmers and hospitals develop sustainable programs that help both organizations. By allowing hospital cooks and chefs to become aware of the food options available in their area, menus are developed in conjunction with local producers. As a result, hospitals are able to offer menu items that include local organic produce.
One of the largest criticisms of hospital food is what is available to patients, staff and guests when it comes to choices. Many of the items in cafeterias are high in fat and sugar, contain high levels of preservatives and are highly processed. By working with local farmers, however, hospitals can broaden the scope of food choices available and encourage healthier eating choices.
Working together, hospitals and farmers are able to create a sustainable food system. Farmers can use organic growing practices that reduce the amount of toxic chemicals in the food system and the environment. Hospital kitchens can provide healthy food for their patients and staff, while also contributing economically to the survival of the farms. It is a win-win for both sides.
What’s your best (or worst) hospital food story? Let us know in the comments!
– The Alternative Daily