Hospitals urge peers to serve healthier food, reduce waste

Large hospital systems call on industry to be better enviornmental stewards.

April 4—Eleven of the nation’s largest hospitals systems –including Kaiser Permanente, HCA Healthcare, and Boston-based Partners HealthCare — today called on their industry to be better environmental stewards.

The Healthier Hospitals Initiative challenges hospitals to reduce energy use and waste, purchase environmentally friendlier products and serve healthier foods. The effort is as much about reducing health risks and environmental damage, as it is about lowering costs, officials said.

Organizers, who hope to have 2,000 hospitals participating by 2014, did not list specific goals such as units of energy saved, waste reduced or unhealthy food discarded in a press briefing Tuesday.

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The University of New Mexico’s proposed on-campus taproom has officially been approved by the school’s Board of Regents.

Construction on the $650,000 student union taproom will begin this summer and is expected to finish in August when students return to campus. The school’s food vendor, Chartwells, and UNM’s Dining & Food Services department will split the cost of the taproom evenly.

Designed by students in the school’s architecture department, the space will feature a rotating selection of beer and wine, and will also welcome guest brewers. Chartwells will be...

Ideas and Innovation
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Three years ago, Colonial School District in New Castle, Del., started a pilot supper program at its high school. The goal: To make sure the district’s students, 57% of whom are on free or reduced-priced meals, would not be hungry when school is done for the day.

Since its inception, the program has expanded to 12 schools and now provides afterschool meals to children participating in YMCA activities. And it's just one of many such programs popping up in districts throughout the country, as operators add supper to the list of daily meals they provide for students.

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We put our hydroponic gardens in a spot where students can watch them grow, but at the same time it’s safe from being tampered with. At one of our elementary schools, the gardens are in the kitchen, but there’s a window where students can look in as they walk down the hallway. Some even stop to count how many cucumbers they see.

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We started a 50-member vegan team in response to students expressing the need for more vegan options. Between our monthly meetings, students are asked to take photos of foods they eat in and out of the dining halls to give us a true picture of the kinds of things they like and the kinds of foods that cause disappointment. This exercise has sparked a lot of conversation and given us more insight into what we could do better.

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