We've taken note of a number of efforts to change the first kind of meal many people would associate with overly-processed, institutionalized food: the school lunch. Hospital food likely comes in a close second for that distinction, and several organizations are working with the health care industry to shift its menu from "low-grade, tasteless and nutritionally deficient" food to healthier and more sustainable options. SustainableBusiness.com's Insider takes a look today at efforts hospitals are taking to provide patients with more appetizing food that's also better for them and the planet. Among the changes occurring in hospital food service:
- Catholic Healthcare West has an education program about the ecological impacts of the food system and is eliminate rBGH use in dairy.
- Kaiser Permanente: is creating guidelines for sustainable food sourcing that includes local, antibiotic/hormone-free meats and dairy, and serving fresh fruit for desert. It has farmer's markets at 25 of its medical facilities.
- Dominican Hospital (Santa Cruz, California) buys produce from a local organic farm and has a vegetable and flower garden on-site.
- Good Shepherd Medical Center (Hermiston, Oregon) has eliminated fat fryers, serves organic produce and rBGH-free milk, and is eliminating food additives. Instead of beef, the hospital serves naturally lean bison.
- St. Luke's Hospital (Duluth, Minnesota) serves only fair-trade coffee, rBGH-free milk, and wild salmon, and has a locally grown organic salad bar.