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HFHC April/May/June 2011 Newsletter

Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care
April/May/June 2011 Newsletter

HFHC Update

Oregon Hospital Green Chef Challenge

The Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care Workgroup is currently planning the first Oregon Hospital Green Chef Challenge. Hospital chefs and cooks from Oregon and SW Washington will be invited to participate in a one day cooking challenge. Chef/cook teams will compete against other teams to produce a meal following a set of sustainability and nutrition standards. The winning team will receive free admission to FoodMed, the national Healthy Food in Health Care bi-annual conference.

In addition to the cooking challenge there will also be speakers from the sustainable food and agriculture community and a poster session where hospitals can highlight the work that they are doing around healthy, sustainable food. The day also provides the opportunity to demonstrate how much hospitals contribute to the local agriculture community. Interested hospitals can track their local, sustainable food procurement from May until August. Information on dollars spent on local food will be collected, aggregated and presented to a public official.

The event is intended to be a fun educational experience for hospital food service employees that demonstrates their sustainable food efforts to a broader audience (e.g., healthcare executives, community health professionals, and public officials). More information will be available soon. If you would like to be involved in planning the event, please contact Gretchen Miller.

The Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care Workgroup has been meeting each month since October 2010 to discuss menu labeling ideas, collaborative media outreach, sustainable food policies and action plans, local and sustainable food procurement, and educational events. More than 20 individuals representing 9 different hospitals and health systems have been participating in the Workgroup since October. The next meeting will be held May 20th from 10:00AM-11:30AM at Portland Adventist Medical Center. If you would like to attend Workgroup meetings please contact Gretchen Miller, call-in options are available.

FoodMed 2011 Save-the-Date October 18-19th, 2011

This year the national Healthy Food in Health Care bi-annual conference, FoodMed, will be held in Seattle, Washington at the Hyatt Olive 8 Hotel. On October 18-19th hospital food service professionals, dieticians, and others interested in food and health issues are invited to come learn about sustainable food procurement, hospital healthy food initiatives, food and agriculture policy, public health and the food system, and more.

We encourage hospitals in Oregon and Washington to participate in the event and take this opportunity to showcase hospitals and health care systems from across the county the amazing work they are doing. If you are interested in presenting on an aspect of your sustainable food work, please view the call for proposals. Proposal submission deadline is May 27th. Feel free to contact Gretchen Miller or Kathy Pryor with questions.

Details on workshops, poster sessions, and keynote speakers coming soon!

Community Partner Highlight

Organicology from a Hospital Food Service Perspective

This February six hospitals from Oregon attended Organicology – Oregon Tilth’s bi-annual conference. There they participated in an Eaters Intensive, learning about organic standards, nutrition, sustainable seafood, and much more. One of the individuals attending the event was Erica Johnson, Clinical Dietician at Oregon State Hospital. Below is her account of the day.

After weaving my way through the hotel lobby and into the room labeled “Eaters Intensive”, I find a seat at an empty table. There are only a few others in the room until it gets closer to the scheduled starting time and people begin filing in to find seats. I’ve been to many conferences, each of them the same – people speak, there is some discussion, and I come away with a couple of new ideas. I would soon find out that this wasn’t a typical ‘conference’ I had attended so many times. What followed was a day filled with engaging group discussions and table conversations, relevant information on the current state of our food system, updates on organic certification and ‘this is how it can be done’ talks from several local foodie and farmer heroes.

Our food system has changed drastically over the past century – many of these changes being better for business than for health. There is now a push for changing the way we go about food entirely, focusing more on the wellness of the earth and our bodies. It is an exciting time to be a registered dietitian at Oregon State Hospital, and to make connections with other professionals and community members in Oregon. This conference provided me with the opportunity to network, learn and find new areas to look further into as I try to assist others on their path to wellness through sound nutritional choices. The work that is being done by many community leaders, such as Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, is admirable and encouraging. I feel very fortunate to have been a part of the 2011 Organicology experience, and highly recommend it to colleagues and interested community members. The more people who get involved in the conversation, the bigger the impact that can be made.

New Resources/Guides

Green Guide for Health Care Food Service Credits Toolkit: This toolkit offers a suite of sample action plans, templates and tracking sheets that will help hospital food service staff navigate the Green Guide for Health Care Food Service Credits, provide a framework for creating baselines, and track progress on creating a more sustainable food service. 

WHEN’s Healthcare’s Harvest: Seeding Sustainability in Hospital Kitchen s: A collection of recipes featuring sustainably produced products created by hospital chefs from the Leadership Team for Sustainable Food in Healthcare of Greater Philadelphia. Serving sizes range from 4-60.

Prenatal Exposure to Common Pesticides and Delayed Cognitive Development in Children: Three independent studies (1, 2, 3) just published found that children whose mothers are exposed to common agricultural pesticides are more likely to experience a range of deleterious effects in their cognitive development, including lower IQ, as well as impaired reasoning and memory. Organic agriculture prohibits the use of these pesticides, and all other toxic and persistent chemicals.

Organic milk is less fatty than 'ordinary' milk. Researchers have found that organic milk generally contained less saturated fat and more good fatty acids than milk produced at intensive commercial dairy farms. Its health giving properties were also much less likely to be affected by changes in the weather.

NIH links pesticides to Parkinson's. The National Institutes of Health released research Friday that supported earlier research demonstrating a link between two pesticides and Parkinson's disease.

Company pays government to challenge pesticide research. In an unusual scenario that raises questions of conflict of interest, a company that conducts research on behalf of the pesticide industry has paid a U.S. government agency to help prove some controversial chemicals are safe, specifically to refute that two agricultural chemicals, maneb and paraquat, raise the risk of Parkinson's.

Genetically modified crops get boost over organics with recent USDA rulings. At the supermarket, most shoppers are oblivious to a battle raging within U.S. agriculture and the Obama administration's role in it. Two opposing sectors - organics and genetically engineered crops - have been warring in the courts and in Washington.

Ancient seeds in Mexico help fight warming effects. More than 500 years after Spanish priests brought wheat seeds to Mexico to make wafers for the Catholic Mass, those seeds may bring a new kind of salvation to farmers hit by global warming.

Medical panel urges a low-carbon diet. A network of the world’s leading medical academies on Friday urged nations to adopt policies to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas pollutants because it would have a salutary effect not just on the planet but on human health.

Small poultry farmers grapple with lack of slaughterhouses. Pasture-based animal farming for local markets in the West is an increasingly attractive alternative to factory meat farms due to their tremendous environmental and human health costs. But regulatory compliance is expensive and state and federal meat-processing laws are interpreted inconsistently.

Upcoming Events

10th – Friends of Family Farmers InFARMation – 5:30PM-8:30PM (Portland, Oregon – Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison)
19th – 21st Community Food Security Coalition’s Food Policy From Neighborhood to Nation Conference (Portland, Oregon – DoubleTree Hotel, 1000 NE Multnomah)
20th - Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care Workgroup Meeting – 10:00AM-11:30AM (Portland, Oregon – Adventist Medical Center)

3rd – 2nd Annual Multnomah Food Summit – 9:00AM-4:00PM (Portland, Oregon – University Place Hotel & Conference Center, 310 SW Lincoln Street)
14th – Friends of Family Farmers InFARMation – 5:30PM-8:30PM (Portland, Oregon – Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison)
20th - Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care Workgroup Meeting – 10:00AM-11:30AM (Portland, Oregon – Adventist Medical Center)

12th – Friends of Family Farmers InFARMation – 5:30PM-8:30PM (Portland, Oregon – Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison)
15th - Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care Workgroup Meeting – 10:00AM-11:30AM (Portland, Oregon – Adventist Medical Center)