The way our food is produced, processed, transported, consumed, and disposed of has profound impacts on individual, community, and planetary health. Hospitals and health systems across the country are achieving their organizational priorities by focusing on food-related initiatives.
Core values for a better food system
These values underpin the goals, strategies, and guidance you will find here, supporting health care institutions to collaborate with their community and supply chain stakeholders to build a just, healthy, and sustainable food system.
Local & Community-Based Economies: Vibrant and resilient regional economies are a forum for communities to regain power in decision-making within their local food system and the land that supports it.
Valued Workforce: Farm and food chain workers have the right to freedom of association and to bargain collectively, as well as the right to livable wages and healthy and safe working conditions to ensure that food workers can live and work with dignity.
Environmental Sustainability: Environmentally sustainable farms and food businesses build healthy ecosystems by improving soil health, increasing biodiversity, and reducing the carbon and water footprint of food production; while advancing public health and worker safety.
Animal Welfare: Animal welfare encompasses all aspects of animals’ wellbeing, and high animal welfare is achieved when animals’ physical, mental, and behavioral needs are met throughout their lives.
Community Health & Nutrition: Supporting communities in shaping their food environment with culturally relevant, nourishing foods, improves health and wellbeing, ensures food sovereignty, and builds resilience to withstand and recover from economic and environmental disruptions.
Transparency & Accountability: Communities have full access to food, land, information, and decision-making power through transparent processes, allowing communities to engage with institutions in setting food justice goals.
Racial Equity: Acknowledging and rectifying the structural barriers that prevent people of color from the opportunities and resources to thrive. Leadership is sought out from the communities that have been pushed to the margins when building alternatives. Self-determination for marginalized communities is essential to practice racial equity.
Apply proven guidance
How new Practice Greenhealth food resources can reduce your hospital’s climate impact
Measure, set, act
No matter where you are on your journey, our proven guidance will help you assess your food program’s current impact, identify and prioritize opportunities for improvement, learn from others’ experiences, set goals, create action plans, and implement changes.
Connect, explore & innovate
Find events, projects, and experiences to benefit from the success and insights from other health care stakeholders and collaborate with peers and experts in the field.
Learn from leaders
Practice Greenhealth's Food Circle Awards highlight leaders in sustainable food services, capturing leadership in local, sustainable, and diverse food procurement; reducing greenhouse gas emissions through food purchases, menu design, and food waste reduction; clinical and community collaborations to address food insecurity as primary prevention and improved health outcomes. Top contenders have demonstrated noteworthy programming in each area, and have an educational strategy that addresses the food system as a critical component in an overall sustainability plan — for human and planetary health.
Recent Food Circle award winners