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HFHC Jan/Feb/Mar 2013 Newsletter

Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care
January/February/March 2013 Newsletter

HFHC Updates

Happy New Year!

It is once again that time of year that many take time to reflect on activities and accomplishments of the last year and look ahead to next steps and new opportunities in the next.

First, the Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care (HFHC) team would like to applaud all of the hard work you have done this past year. The effort you are making to serve healthy, sustainably produced food and create healthier eating environments helps protect the well-being and future viability of our environment, food system and public health. Thank you for tirelessly hosting farm stands/farmers markets, encouraging employee involvement in Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs), buying and serving food grown in Oregon, exploring new avenues for getting access to meat and poultry produced without antibiotics, and taking an active role in supporting the health of your patients, staff, visitors and community.

 2012 was a busy year for the Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care Project. With your help and support from our generous funders we were able to:

  • Launch the Hospital Green Chef Meal Standards Program – www.hospitalgreenchef.com
  • Complete our second year of monthly Oregon HFHC Workgroup meetings
  • Highlight sustainable food work at hospitals through quarterly issues of the Oregon HFHC Newsletter
  • Support 8 new hospitals in signing the HFHC Pledge, bring the total number of hospitals that have signed onto the pledge in Oregon up to 21 - http://www.healthyfoodinhealthcare.org/signers.php
  • Tour poultry processing facilities to learn more about the availability of local, sustainable poultry
  • Develop and release the Farm Direct Food Safety & Sustainability Guide and Questionnaire
  • Provide technical support to facilities developing sustainable food service policies

We are now gearing up for a busy, exciting 2013 and are looking forward to continuing to work closely with you as we move forward. We would like to alert you to some new opportunities for you to engage in as well as new initiatives we will be undertaking.

  • Institutional Food Buyers Alliance – Many of you are aware of new Institutional Food Buyers Alliance that is forming in the Portland Metro Area. The kickoff meeting for the Alliance is schedule from Friday January 18th from 9:30AM-10:30AM (location TBA but will be in Portland). The Alliance is bringing together individuals across the institutional sector to work to increase their amount of local and sustainable purchasing. The first project of the Alliance is building off of the work that we have been doing for the past few years. If you are in the Portland Metro Area we highly encourage you to become a member of the alliance. RSVP to attend the first meeting. If you are outside of the Metro Area, we are happy to share more details about the alliance and if you are interested in participating please contact Gretchen.
  • Sustainable Procurement for Institutional Food Service – Every year we hold an educational event focusing on current, relevant sustainable food issues. This year that event will be held at Organicology, the region's premier organic educational conference. Join us February 7th from 1-5PM to learn about the impacts food production has on health, environment, equity and farm economics. This ½ day “intensive” is $50 but hospitals that would like to attend are able to get a 50% discount by contacting Gretchen Miller for a discount code prior to registration.
  • Rural Expansion – This year we will be working to expand Healthy Food in Health Care work to the more rural areas of Oregon. As interest in and demand for sustainable food grows throughout the state we hope to be able to provide the same support and resources hospitals in the more urban centers have received since 2005.
  • Individual Hospital Meetings – For two years the Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care Workgroup has met on a monthly basis to share successes, challenges, best practices, identify group projects and develop and roll out new initiatives.  In an effort to accommodate the various schedules everyone has and to better support facilities’ unique needs we will no longer be meeting as a larger group.  Instead, individual meetings will be set up with interested hospitals once or twice a year to learn about the amazing work that is happening at facilities, offer new resources, facilitate connections between hospitals, and offer general support for moving Healthy Food work forward. Look for emails from Gretchen in the coming weeks to set up these meetings.


We welcome your feedback on how we can best support you in working on Healthy Food in Health Care project and initiatives. Please feel free to reach out to us with questions.

Here's to a new year of healthy, sustainable food for all!

Oregon Grows Partnership

 Growing Better Food and Farm Policy Supporting regional and sustainable growers through your purchasing decisions is mightily important to a healthy and sustainable food system and often times these efforts can be aided by work on food and farm policy.  We are excited to tell you about a new partnership we have joined to help make that connection to policy advocacy.  The Oregon Grows Partnership (OGP) is a legislative coalition founded in 2010 by a group of food and agriculture organizations from around the state to promote family agriculture and local food.  Throughout 2013 we will be sharing with you opportunities to learn more about and weigh in on legislative issues that support regional farmers.  The OGP has chosen three priorities for the 2013 legislative session:

  • Amend land use laws to reduce restrictions for farmers using the poultry slaughter exemption on land zoned as Exclusive Farm Use (EFU)
  • Establish an "Aggie Bonds" program which will help small and beginning farmers obtain more favorable financing rates
  • Push for a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement on proposed coal exports and their impact on grain growers, farmers and ranchers

You can learn more about OGP and these priorities by visiting the Oregon Grows Partnership website.

Tools and Resources

  • Institutional Food Buyers Alliance – Many of you are aware of new Institutional Food Buyers Alliance that is forming in the Portland Metro Area. The kickoff meeting for the Alliance is schedule from Friday January 18th from 9:30AM-10:30AM (location TBA but will be in Portland). The Alliance is bringing together individuals across the institutional sector to work to increase their amount of local and sustainable purchasing. The first project of the Alliance is building off of the work that we have been doing for the past few years. If you are in the Portland Metro Area we highly encourage you to become a member of the alliance. RSVP to attend the first meeting. If you are outside of the Metro Area, we are happy to share more details about the alliance and if you are interested in participating please contact Gretchen.
  • Sustainable Procurement for Institutional Food Service – Every year we hold an educational event focusing on current, relevant sustainable food issues. This year that event will be held at Organicology, the region's premier organic educational conference. Join us February 7th from 1-5PM to learn about the impacts food production has on health, environment, equity and farm economics. This ½ day “intensive” is $50 but hospitals that would like to attend are able to get a 50% discount by contacting Gretchen Miller for a discount code prior to registration.


Articles

Building bigger cattle: An industry overdose. Two kids injured in the Joplin, Mo., tornado in May 2011 suffered from antibiotic-resistant infections from dirt and debris blown into their wounds. Physicians tried different drugs, but nothing seemed to work. Blame the overuse of antibiotics in livestock, according to doctors familiar with their cases.

Beef's raw edges. The Kansas City Star, in a yearlong investigation, found that the beef industry is increasingly relying on a mechanical process to tenderize meat, exposing Americans to higher risk of E. coli poisoning. (First of three parts)

Maker of methyl iodide ends US EPA registration. The maker of the controversial pesticide methyl iodide, used primarily to fumigate strawberries, has agreed to remove all of its products from the U.S. market and end sales permanently.

For migrant workers, still the harvest, and the shame. As America prepares for its ritual feast, a look back at an epic broadcast that forever changed the way we look at farm workers..

Working wonders without water out West. A generation of farmers in the West mulls a switch from water-intense - and profitable - crops like cotton and irrigated wheat to thriftier, rain-fed sorghum and grains. For many of the West's farmers, a drier climate brings an economic hit.

FDA halts operations at peanut butter plant. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration halted operations of the country's largest organic peanut butter processor Monday, cracking down on salmonella poisoning for the first time with the new enforcement authority the agency gained in a 2011 food safety law

Pesticide exposure harms memory. Exposure to even low levels of organophosphates in pesticides can cause lasting harm to the brain, scientists have concluded. A review of 14 separate studies has shown that chemicals can reduce memory and the ability to process information quickly.


Upcoming Events

January:
18th – Institutional Buyers Alliance – 9:30-11:30 (Portland, Oregon – Ecotrust Building (Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center – 721 NW 9th Ave.)

February:
7th – 9thOrganicology – 12:00PM-1:00PM (Portland, Oregon – Hilton Portland)
7thSustainable Procurement for Institutional Purchasers Intensive at Organicology – 1PM-5PM (Hilton Portland)
12th - Friends of Family Farmers InFARMation – 5:30PM-8:30PM (Portland, Oregon – Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison)

March:
12th - Friends of Family Farmers InFARMation – 5:30PM-8:30PM (Portland, Oregon – Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison)
15th – 5th Annual Northwest Environmental Health Conference (Portland, Oregon)