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Bringing Local Foods into Hospitals

September 29, 2008

Hospital food has long been a problem in this country. It seems ironic that people go to the hospital to get better but are offered bacon-egg and cheese burgers or French fries. Hospital administrators should be condoning a speedy recovery, but that doesn’t necessarily mean speedy food. 

One organization, Health Care Without Harm is working hard to bring local food into more hospitals. Hospitals are signing the Healthy Food in Healthcare Pledge and committing themselves to make their food systems more sustainable by hosting farmers’ markets and offering hormone-and antiobiotic-free meat and dairy on their menus.

Besides bringing healthier food into the hospitals, “this pledge is designed to reduce waste, support local farms and procure more sustainable food,” says Holly Freishtat, sustainable food specialist for Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Some hospitals have removed their deep fryers and others are buying fresh, locally grown produce and eliminating processed foods. Currently, more than 130 hospitals throughout the U.S. have signed the pledge and the movement is gaining momentum.

This pledge is a great start to improving health in hospitals. To read more about hospitals switching from processed foods to local, click here.