Hospitals are cooking up change by growing their own produce

“There is an increasing trend in hospital farms,” said Stacia Clinton, the national program director for Health Care Without Harm’s Healthy Food in Health Care program, which advises hospitals on ways to provide sustainable and nutritious food. “There’s a greater demand now for people to know where their food is coming from, and hospitals are looking for ways to connect people to their food more directly.”


Boston Medical Center's rooftop farm
The 7,000 square-foot rooftop farm at Boston Medical Center (Photo: Sarah Toy, USA Today)

[USA Today]  High atop the roof of a hospital power plant in the middle of the city, you’ll find something unexpected: A 7,000-square-foot oasis with a lush carpet of green, rows upon rows of mesclun, kale, rainbow chard and a sea of plump green and red tomatoes.

Farm manager Lindsay Allen is on her hands and knees, cutting sprays of leafy greens and arugula and packing them into boxes. These particular greens will go to the Boston Medical Center kitchen, where they will be prepared for use in the cafeteria salad bar.

Other times, vegetables from the farm are sent to the hospital’s preventive food pantry, where low-income patients can pick up food items that meet their nutritional needs. Some will go to the demonstration kitchen in the cafeteria, where Tracy Burg, a registered dietitian, and nurse, will teach patients how to use them to prepare tasty and healthy meals.

And some will even make it onto patients’ meal trays.

Boston Medical Center is one of the burgeoning number of hospitals growing their own produce...(Continue reading).