Offering Seasonal, Local Food in Hospitals
The push for seasonal produce and eating locally are trendy ideas. At an organizational level, however, it’s hard to imagine how local and seasonal buying could be attainable and beneficial for food service provision in high-volume healthcare settings.
Ripe, Local Foods Offer a Better Patient Dining Experience
One of the most immediate changes that patients in hospitals can benefit from is being served locally sourced, seasonal foods in entrees made from scratch. The truth is, when our bodies are healing, we need foods that offer the highest potential for nutrition. When it comes to raw fruits and vegetables, studies show that eating local, seasonal produce gives us the chance to consume properly ripe foods which contain higher levels of vitamins and minerals needed to heal the body as fast as possible. Local sourcing encourages the highest quality of ingredients for your kitchens by reducing travel time and pesticides; and allowing for essential ripening and development to occur within the plant life cycle. When using properly ripened, fresh ingredients, the result is appealing food with better flavor and bioavailability for patients. Ultimately, eating in-season, locally sourced food makes a patient’s hospital stay more enjoyable and studies show that fresh, nutrient-dense food improves healing and recovery.
In most communities, local food providers are eager and reliable partners for healthcare settings. Our chefs, managers and procurement enjoy bolstering local economies and making food that patients and employees alike want to eat. Here are just a handful of local providers that we use within our healthcare food service across the nation.
2020 Patient Offerings by Thomas Cuisine at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, CA
Local Vendors That We Enjoy Using
We wouldn’t want to bore you by listing every local vendor that we use for our seasonal items, so here’s just a few to get you started. No matter if the community is small or large, when we support local vendors by purchasing their ingredients, we support the overall economic health of a community as well as the personal health of the community members.
3rd Gen Farms
Clackamas, OR / WA