Healthy food cannot be defined by nutritional quality alone. With leadership and expertise from Health Care Without Harm’s Healthy Food in Health Care program, dedicated staff at health care facilities across North America are implementing policies and programs that support sustainable food systems. Using an environmental nutrition framework, they leverage their respected voices, purchasing power, investments and other assets to develop food systems that conserve and renews natural resources, advances social justice and animal welfare, builds community wealth, and fulfills the food and nutrition needs of all eaters now and into the future.
Our industrial food system poses environmental and human health risks through reliance on synthetic pesticides, fossil-fuel-based fertilizers, antibiotics, and hormones, as well as low-wage laborers who face unsafe working conditions. We know that with dietary changes and reduced food waste we can feed a growing global population in a sustainable way that supports human and environmental health.
Trends show U.S. hospitals are changing the food system. Check out 2019 health care food trends.
The health care sector can help ensure that food systems “do no harm.” Partnering with more than 1,000 hospitals across North America, our Healthy Food in Health Care program advocates on the local, state, and national level for:
- People and planet-friendly food
- Healthy food and communities
- Food policy action to support sustainable food systems
Through regional innovation hubs, we work with hospitals and communities to implement successful strategies for food system improvement. Hospitals that want additional tools and resources to prioritize healthy food in health care, develop cost-effective sustainability initiatives throughout hospital operations, and benchmark their success become Practice Greenhealth members. Practice Greenhealth is the leading membership and networking organization for sustainable health care, delivering environmental solutions to hospitals and health systems across the United States.