Healthy Food in Hospitals and Health Care – UVM Medical Center



what people eat is one of the most important fundamental parts of their life I think hospitals have a great opportunity to teach and you are teachers and role models for so all of our health really the reason we've built the rooftop garden was as an educational component for patients employees the community to come and learn about how to grow food why is it good for you what to do it local food practice um one use fresh local foods whenever possible this prepares a better quality food better tasting and get a better customer satisfaction out of it when you serve healthy food when you serve food that looks appealing that tastes appealing when you combine that with educating people about the importance of a healthy lifestyle that is leadership my favorite component of the food program is actually the taste and the freshness of the food and the fact that we engage local farmers 90 percent of our beef is raised locally from two farms that we've all visited you know the farmers we know how they raise their cattle we know their whole program and so we feel really engaged in 2002 walking through our Hospital lobby I just had this thought I wonder what would happen if we put a farmers market out well at that time there were no farmers markets in hospitals anyplace in the country May 16 2003 we opened the first hospital based farmers market and all organic market and it was like a block party on the front it was a great day well now we've got 39 markets either at we're sponsored by Kaiser Permanente around the country hospitals who are interested in initiating a healthy food program can really start anywhere that is comfortable for that hospitals can begin slowly talking to farmers figuring out what fruits and vegetables they can integrate into their menus how they can kind of shift and become more seasonal in their menu planning people enjoy food we have to be this is not something that we could you should be reducing we should be redesigning I think this initiative can happen anywhere across the country I would say that local is defined however you need to and it's that opportunity is actually one of the great rewards of my job turning today is to have incredibly good food prepared in a way that I actually feel it's with my values as a clinician the food is life and so food is an integral part of that puzzle I firmly believe that the health of our population could start with the sharp chef's knife – cutting boards and a salad spinner you

1 Comment

  1. Wow, that is great news! Wonderful, I wish this will be used as an example and other hospitals will follow. Great!!! That was always the sorest point I felt about hospitals – that they left food out of the equation. Thanks for posting!

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