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Hospitals Focus on Local Healthy Foods

Organization(s) Connecticut Dept. of Environmental Protection
Project Description Nationally, and in Connecticut, hospitals are looking for ways to go green and be healthy places for patients, staff, and visitors. They are putting in healing gardens, using "green" cleaners and building materials, and now, they are changing their food services.

In June 2008, the CT Hospital Environmental Roundtable (CHER) held a workshop hosted by Yale-New Haven Hospital that focused on a win-win change - serving locally grown foods. Fifty people representing more than half of CT hospitals attended the workshop. Locally grown food is fresher, seasonal, and unprocessed, so everyone eating at the hospital wins, and the community wins too. Local Connecticut and regional farms produce meats, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. Having a steady market for their products makes it economically viable for them to continue to farm. They can provide some foods year round and others well past harvest using cold storage. Food grown locally travels far fewer miles to get to the table, reducing fuel use and air pollution, and the public understands where food is grown.

After an inspiring welcome by Steve Merz, Vice President of Administration, including an overview of the many environmental actions Yale New-Haven Hospital has taken, the rest of the workshop featured New Milford Hospital as a model for their local, sustainable food initiative called Plow to Plate. "While it's not easy to change food purchasing decisions and menus at an institution, it can and should be done" said Marydale DeBor, Vice President of External Affairs at New Milford Hospital. Health Care Without Harm described a Menu of Options that hospitals could choose from to begin to incorporate local foods, and the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge that over 125 hospitals have taken. The CT Department of Agriculture's Farms to Chef Program was also presented.

More Info www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2708&q=323980&depNav_GID=1763
Project Contact
Name Connie Mendolia
Phone 860-424-3297
Project Keywords
Industrial Sectors Food and Beverage Industries, Health Care and Hospitals
Newsletter Northeast Assistance & Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 18 No. 2, Fall 2008 [PDF]


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