3 forces driving sustainability in hospital food

By Janet Howard
Published March 12, 2014
GreenBiz.com
 

Earlier this year, GreenBiz reported on the movement toward more healthful food in the State of Green Business Report. More recently, we've seen the growing trend around more sustainable meat procurement with new policies at McDonalds and Chick-Fil-A, among others.

The momentum is building in health care, as well. It’s not an easy task to overhaul the complex health care food system, but it’s a critical move and well worth the heavy lifting for the sake of prevention, climate change, health care spending, the environment and public health.  

The supply chain sometimes can feel like a maze, requiring strength in numbers and perseverance to wend our way through for healthier meat, local and organic foods and healthier beverages. Hospitals traditionally have not been known for tasty food, but in addition to enhanced patient experience, at least three key drivers are behind this national trend in health care.

1. Health

Clinicians' prescribing a pesticide-free apple a day and wellness initiatives’ offering incentives for healthier lifestyles are steps in addressing $190 billion in annual spending on obesity health care costs alone, according to the Journal of Health Economics. The prevention and wellness issue is pretty clear with the obesity epidemic and diet directly linked to cardiac disease, diabetes and cancer.   

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