Goodyear cancer hospital grows nutritious food

Cancer Treatment Centers of America chef farms nutritious food for hospital.

GOODYEAR, Ariz.–A Southwest Valley hospital used idle land to plant a farm that now produces nutritious food for patients, visitors and staff.

Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center in Goodyear has a 25-acre farm that will soon expand another 44 acres.

The farm, just north of the for-profit hospital, has rows of crops and fruit trees surrounding a small lake used to water the crops.

Since 2012, fresh vegetables and fruits have made it from the soil to the tables of patients and employees with no middle man.

The farm is the brainchild of executive chef Frank Caputo, who noticed empty land with good soil abutting the hospital. Caputo said he believes in the healing properties of nutritious food. He asked the hospital board if he could plant a farm, and the hospital board approved.

"We've always provided our patients with the highest quality of certified organic produce and meats since we opened in 2008," Caputo said. "We now grow our own food on-site and deliver delicious, highly nutritional meals to our patients and employees on the same day we've gone out and picked it from the vine or pulled it out of the ground. It's just incredible."

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The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., will soon switch over from magnetic strip-based student ID cards to chip-based ones, The Observer reports.

Along with being more secure, the new cards will allow students easier access to dining halls, enabling them to simply tap their cards on a reader to gain entrance. Students will also be able to add flex points and Domer Dollars—which can be used at eateries on and off campus—to their accounts via a mobile app.

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A large part of menuing allergen-friendly cuisine is deciding which gluten-free items to serve.

In particular, college dining hall operators must decide whether to make gluten-free items in-house or to order gluten-free items from a manufacturer. Some factors to consider are: the size of the university, the demand for gluten-free options,and the ability to have separate gluten-free storage and workspaces in the university dining hall kitchen.

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The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

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