Chefs and health care food professionals are reimagining hospital food’s potential one meal at a time. Using the health care setting to model healthier food choices and making more sustainable foods available to patients, employees, and visitors has many benefits including:
- Improved health and well-being for patients, employees, and visitors
- Increased reported satisfaction from both employees and patients on scoring measures
- Enhanced employee productivity
- Serving as a powerful recruitment tool and regional differentiator for attracting top talent to the hospital.
- Greater food service employee satisfaction through building new skills for fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients and giving a sense of fulfillment from preparing and serving food aligned with the hospital’s mission.
- Making the hospital a resource steward of the community with an interest in addressing environmental impacts head-on.
- Reductions to food that is disposed of as waste.
Consumers’ eating preferences continue to increase the demand for clean-eating food options that are sustainably produced and have a source story.
Consumer research finds that more and more people expect food, whether in a restaurant, grocery store, or hospital cafeteria, to be sourced responsibly and be healthy. For example:
- 86 percent of consumers would like restaurants to be more transparent about what’s in their food. (Technomic)
- 68 percent of consumers are more likely to patronize an eating establishment that offers locally produced food items (National Restaurant Association)
Practice Greenhealth offers tools, resources, and case studies to help our members assess and implement healthier and more sustainable food choices for employees, patients, and visitors. Our goal is to provide step-by-step resources that will make it simpler for any hospital with a food or beverage-related goal to design, implement, and measure the success of these strategies.
Developing a sustainable food service
- Vision statements, assessments, policies and plans
- Plant-Forward Future
- Tap water access
- Marketing and education
- Waste, recycling and resource management
- Reducing food waste
- Choosing environmentally preferable food service ware
- Resource management