Last week in Arlington, Virginia. USA, Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) published ‘Healthy Food in Health Care’, a report detailing new efforts made by hospitals across the nation to promote the purchase of local and sustainable food.
The report states that 127 hospitals are now involved in the initiative to improve food purchasing so that hospital meals will be healthier, tastier and more sustainable for all patients, staff and visitors.
Jamie Harvie, National Coordinator of the Healthy Food in Health Care Initiative said ‘We applaud the 127 facilities, in 21 states across the country, including some that serve over 9,000 meals every day, that have pledged to source local, nutritional, sustainable food. These hospitals recognize that their healthcare food dollars are an important investment in preventive medicine.’
The hospitals in question are working hard to reverse negative impacts, both environmental and public, created by industrial food production. At present, ‘80 facilities (70%) are purchasing up to 40% of produce locally, over 90 facilities (80%) are purchasing rBGH-free milk, 100% have increased fresh fruit and vegetable offerings, 50 facilities (44%) are purchasing meat produced without the use of hormones or antibiotics’.
Harvie added, ‘This initiative is not yet a year and a half old and more hospitals are signing every month. We’ve jumped from 19 to 21 states and added 8 more facilities in the last month.’
In addition to the HCWH initiative, both the American Public Health Association and the California Medical Association started campaigns in 2007 in an attempt to reduce the strain that the current food system imposes on public health and the environment.
Health Care Without Harm
Jamie Harvie, HCWH Food Coordinator, (218) 340-6442
Marie Kulick, HCWH Purchasing Coordinator, (612) 870-3422