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October/November/December HFHC Newsletter

Healthy Food in Health Care October/November/December Updates

 

Congratulations Oregon Hospital Green Chef Challenge Participants!

On Tuesday, September 20th under crystal blue skies, hospital food service professionals, chefs, clinicians and executives, community healthcare advocates, and public officials from across Oregon and SW Washington gathered for the first ever Oregon Hospitals Green Chef Challenge at Oregon Healthy & Science University in Portland, Oregon. “The event was a twist on the annual meeting of the Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care Project of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility (Oregon PSR) and highlighted the important work being done at area hospitals to create healthier eating environments for patients, staff and visitors as well as support local and sustainable food systems that are protective of human and environmental health,” explains Emma Sirois, Program Director at Oregon PSR.

 The day centered on a Chef Challenge where twelve chefs from ten Oregon hospitals competed to create healthy meals from local and sustainable ingredients – featuring amazing fresh produce purchased from farmers at the OHSU Farmers Market running concurrent to the event.   Participating hospitals included Adventist Medical Center, Good Shepherd Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center, Oregon Health & Science University, Oregon State Hospital, Providence Portland Medical Center/Providence Health & Services, Shriners Hospital for Children and Silverton Hospital.  Team meals were required to adhere to a stringent set of sustainability and nutrition standards that ensured the meals were: free of harmful chemicals, added antibiotics and hormones; supported our local agriculture community; and were heart healthy (low in sodium, fat, cholesterol, and calories and high in fiber).  “Watching the chefs collaboratively transform produce from the market and other sustainable ingredients into a colorful and creative heart healthy meal within an hour was inspiring on many levels.  It spurred the seeds of change that hospital food has been driving towards for a few years now, good for the patient and the planet,” noted Eecole Copen, Sustainable Food Programs Coordinator & Farmers Market Manager for OHSU Food and Nutrition Services.

With knives flying and veggies flipping, these skilled chefs created three course meals centered on different protein sources (vegetable, meat, poultry and seafood) and presented them for judging to an expert panel that included Kelly Campbell, Executive Director of Oregon PSR; Guillermo Maciel, Policy Advisor to Multnomah County Board of Commissioners Chair; Cory Schreiber, Chef, Chef Instructor; Ivy Manning, Food Writer; and Nathan McFall, Owner/Operator, Converging Creeks Farm.   "We were all amazed at the enthusiasm with which the chefs participated, and also impressed with how vibrant, creative and delicious their food was. Showing patients how delicious healthy food can be can go a long way to affecting permanent, positive change in their eating habits, and these hospitals are leading the charge and setting an excellent example in their communities," noted cookbook author Ivy Manning. "It was truly inspiring to see so many talented chefs bring their skill and creativity to the event. The beautiful and delicious food they were/are able to make, all within such challenging dietary restrictions, speaks to their exceptional understanding of how to best utilize our remarkable local ingredients,” added David McIntyre, Chef Instructor, International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Portland, and MC of the Hospital Green Chef Challenge.

And the award went to the Meat Team featuring Brian Seto, Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Portland, OR; TJ Seiler, Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center, Portland, OR; and Jared Bowling, Good Shepherd Medical Center, Hermiston, OR, for their rendition of: Autumn Harvest Salad with Berry Balsamic Vinaigrette, Flat Iron Steak with Chimichurri Marinade, Vegan Chocolate Mousse.  “It was an honor to have been on the winning team at the first annual Oregon Hospital Green Chef Challenge. It was indeed a challenge because there were so many talented chefs involved. This competition was important to our facility because we wanted to showcase some of our recipes that we developed to use in, or that we are currently using in our room service program. Our team goal was to present to the judges a three course meal showcasing seasonal and green ingredients that was nutritionally compliant, presented professionally with as much flavor as possible,” shared Brian Seto, Executive Chef, Legacy Emanuel Medical Center.

In addition to the inspirational display of healthy cooking, the event included a presentation of the results of a summer long procurement tracking project by four Portland area hospitals assessing their economic impact on regional agricultural producers.  These four hospitals:  Adventist Medical Center, Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center, Oregon Health & Science University and Providence Portland Medical Center tracked their purchases of produce, meat, poultry, seafood, eggs and dairy grown and produced in Oregon and Washington and found that combined they had spent $478,346.18.  Michelle Ratcliffe, PhD, Farm to School Program Manager at the Oregon Department of Agriculture was on hand to receive these impressive findings. “It is exciting to add health care facilities to the list of institutional buyers procuring Oregon bounty!  As larger institutional purchasers, health care facilities are critical to stabilizing and growing local market opportunities for farmers and food processors.  People look to health care facilities as weather vanes for health and wellness. Using and promoting Oregon agricultural products in the meals they serve, sends a strong message that the food we put into our bodies matters,” stated Ms. Ratcliffe.

Four beautiful posters from Adventist Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Good Samaritan and Oregon Health & Science University were also on display. Each highlighted the health and sustainability initiatives underway in their food service departments.

Congratulations to all of the facilities that participated in this very successful day. This event truly demonstrated that Oregon health care facilities are at the forefront of healthy, sustainable eating.

Adventist Opens LivingWell Bistro – A 100% Plant Based Cafe

On October 4th Portland’s Adventist Medical Center opened its new LivingWell Bistro. The new café features an entirely plant based menu, which is in keeping with the general promotion of health and preventative nutrition supported by the facility’s food service.

The menu was designed in consultation with Bo Rinaldi, renowned natural foods chef and restaurateur, and highlights many seasonal and local offerings when available. Whether a clinician on the go or a community member looking for an affordable tasty meal, there is something on the menu for everyone from grab and go wraps to freshly baked pizzas fresh out of the blazing oven.

 If you’re eating in the bistro you are treated to a truly sustainable and satisfying experience with reusable plates and service ware, access to unlimited drinking water (in real glasses!) and a generally pleasant atmosphere – recreating a sit down restaurant experience without ever leaving the hospital!

In addition to delicious food, LivingWell Bistro also has a marketplace that sells home kitchen wares, cookbooks, and healthful products to help customers recreate a healthy cooking experience at home.

Open daily, you can enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner at LivingWell Bistro located in the Pavilion of Adventist Health at 10000 SE Main Street, Portland, Oregon 97216. To learn more about the bistro visit: www.livingwellbistro.com.

Registration Now Open for Food Matters Training for Health Professionals and Clinicians!

On December 2nd, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility and Northwest Permanente, Department of Clinical & Leadership Education will present the Food Matters training. Aimed at physicians, nurses, dietitians, and other maternal/child healthcare professionals, Food Matters will review the obesity and western disease epidemic and links to the current science around exposures to environmental toxicants within our food system and the impacts of these exposures on pediatric, reproductive, and ecological health. The Food Matters program is a comprehensive package to encourage hospitals and healthcare professionals to become leaders and advocates for a food system that promotes public and environmental health.

 What: Food Matters: A Clinical Education and Advocacy Training
When: December 2nd, 2011 – 8:00AM-3:30PM
Where: Mercy Corps Action Center- 45 SW Ankeny St., Aceh Room, Portland, Oregon 97206

Registration:  $50/professional, $30/student (Includes sustainable lunch)
For more Information and to Register click here:
Register  

Contact Emma Sirois (503-780-9859) for more information.

Community Partner Highlight

Many new partnerships were cooked up through the Oregon Hospital Green Chef Challenge. One of which was Food|Waves /Converging Creeks Farm run by Nathan McFall. This new partnership provides a unique opportunity for hospitals to have access to a local producer knowledgeable about growing crops in the Northwest who is willing to provide educational opportunities (such as farm tours) to interested facilities.  Read the below highlight from Nathan McFall to learn more about this organization and farm.

 Food|Waves & Converging Creek Farm – Nathan McFall

Food|Waves is a small, Portland, Oregon based non-profit whose mission is to promote sustainable agriculture as a long-term solution to major environmental issues facing the overall health of the world’s soil, water and people. Our aim is to develop future farmers by providing the technical and financial support necessary to learn how to grow organic food for local consumers.  Put simply, we are growing the next generation of farmers, gardeners, and food-conscious citizens!

Many people today are becoming aware that there is a very quiet, but very strong crisis in our midst.  This crisis is one of food and of farmers.  The last century has seen a 73% decrease in the number of Americans employed in the agriculture industry.  Huge, subsidized, industrial mega-farms have taken over almost all aspects of what we eat.  The over-use of petro-chemicals on crops is polluting our water, earth, air and bodies.  The knowledge that our forefathers took for granted about growing food is being lost, but there is a growing movement of concerned citizens out there who want to learn about it.  The reality, however, is that small, sustainable farms are having trouble competing with the giants.  We are trying to help them.

One of Food|Waves’ overarching goals is to teach those with a genuine interest how to operate a small, organic farm, sell the products locally, and educate others on the techniques being implemented.  Food|Waves will do this by providing paid apprenticeships.  Our apprentices will learn the skills necessary to successfully operate and manage their own organic farms someday! In order to fulfill some of our other goals, we will also reach out to community members such as small businesses, schools, churches, food banks, and other non-profit organizations through hands-on educational opportunities to learn and practice the sustainable techniques implemented at Converging Creeks Farm (www.convergingcreeks.com).

Over the last few years, we have worked with professionals, college and high school students, and retirees providing them with valuable opportunities to learn about sustainable agriculture techniques such as drip-irrigation, seeding, transplanting young seedlings from the greenhouse to the field, organic fertilizer (chicken manure), harvesting vegetables, preparing produce for the market, protecting crops from pests, and the back-breaking work of pulling weeds, weeds, and more weeds!

Food Waves is also very interested in getting good food into the mouths of as many people as possible who would otherwise have difficulty obtaining the products.  Selling to hospitals, schools, prisons, and other institutions is of particular interest for us as well as offering field trips for interested parties from those organizations to help further common understanding.  For more information about who we are or how you can get involved in Food Waves’ mission and programs, please visit www.foodwaves.org

Tools and Resources

Hydrate for Health: A Call for Healthy Beverages in Health Care – A new factsheet from Health Care Without Harm’s national Healthy Food in Health Care Program that outlines the health and environmental impacts of sugar sweetened and bottled beverages.

The Impact of Seven Cents – A report from Ecotrust highlighting the impact an additional seven cents spent on school meals to incorporate locally grown food has on local economic development, lunch participation rates and student preference for fruits and vegetables.

Action Alert

Just Label It!

In a country that labels everything from cosmetics to cleaning agents, it is surprising that there are no laws in the U.S. to require labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. Yet 93% of Americans believe GE foods should be labeled.

We have joined an effort with hundreds of other organizations representing millions of Americans called “Just Label It: We Have a Right to Know” campaign. It supports a petition to the FDA that calls for products that use ingredients produced with genetic engineering to disclose this information on the label.

We have just learned, and you may have already heard, that the FDA is on the verge of approving GE salmon for human consumption. This is despite the opposition of many environmental groups, concerned citizens, and even some members of Congress. Now is the perfect time to voice your support for the labeling of all genetically engineered foods.

Please take a moment today to tell the FDA to Just Label It! 

Articles

US touts fruit and vegetables while subsidizing meat. U.S. farm policy grew out of the economic hardships suffered by Midwestern farmers in the 1930s due to unpredictable swings in agricultural markets and the desire to protect the national food supply. Many critics feel the policy is no longer relevant and should be redesigned to promote healthful eating

Group seeks labels on genetically altered food. Today, a coalition of 300 companies, organizations and doctors will announce that it has filed a petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to require that all genetically engineered foods include a label that advises consumers they're eating food that has been altered.

Salmonella stays with chickens, from birth to kitchen. A look at how the nation’s food safety system operates in the case of salmonella-infected poultry shows how a combination of industry practices and gaps in government oversight results in a fractured effort that leaves the ultimate responsibility for safe food with the consumer.

Tainted seafood reaching U.S., experts say. Filthy seafood infected with bacteria or tainted with drugs and antibiotics banned in the U.S. is finding its way onto the plates of Americans, according to state and federal officials, consumer advocates, academics and food safety experts.

Organic farming reduces resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, study finds. Poultry farmers who adopt organic practices and stop giving their birds antibiotics significantly reduce the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics in their flocks, according to a study released Wednesday.

Meat consumption jumps 20 percent in last decade with super-sized environmental impacts. Meat consumption and production remains on the rise, according to a new report by Worldwatch Institute, with large-scale environmental impacts especially linked to the spread of factory farming.

Upcoming Events

November:
7thFood Sovereignty & the Roots of Migration: Defending Corn and Culture in Oaxaca – 7:00PM (Portland, Oregon - St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 6835 SW 46th Avenue)
8th - Friends of Family Farmers InFARMation – 5:30PM-8:30PM (Portland, Oregon – Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison)
18th Oregon Healthy Food in Health Care Workgroup Meeting – 10:00AM-11:30AM (Portland, Oregon – Portland Providence Medical Center)

December:
2ndFood Matters Training – 8:00AM-3:30PM (Portland, Oregon – Mercy Corps Action Center – Aceh Room, 45 SE Ankney St.)

13th - Friends of Family Farmers InFARMation – 5:30PM-8:30PM (Portland, Oregon – Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison)