Sustainability in Practice: Hospital Makes Meatless Philly Cheese Steak

Rehab center reinvents a classic.

At 96-bed Magee Rehabilitation in Philadelphia, customers are learning to love meatless options, including a meat-free version of the sandwich that bears the city’s name—a Philly Cheese Steak.

Last year Paul Carmine, director of hospitality services for the hospital, started a Meatless Monday program. Although customers could get meat options, most of the day’s entrées were meatless. “We were finding that people were willing to try some meatless options, but they were trying things they were familiar with and not necessarily the healthier options,” Carmine says. “If we had jumbo ravioli on Meatless Monday they were all about that.”

To counter that, Carmine and his team decided not only to offer Meatless Monday but to offer a high-quality, healthy meatless option every day. Customers can now get meatless items such as a Buffalo tofu hoagie, hummus wraps, and a sweet potato and black bean burrito. Another daily option is the meatless Philly Cheese Steak, which substitutes seitan for beef.

Carmine says once the department made the shift, sales for healthier, meatless options increased. Carmine is also purchasing as much local produce as possible, and he recently made the switch to cage-free eggs.

Carmine says finding sources for local items is his biggest challenge. “Unfortunately you sort of get stuck with what suppliers can offer you,” he says. “I could order cage-free eggs from my main distributor, but it’s a special order so it will take three weeks.”

Carmine has found one good source of local items: the Common Market Philadelphia, a consolidator and distributor of local foods. Carmine purchases his produce, cage-free eggs, seitan and tofu from the Common Market.  

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
college students clean label

From Furmano’s.

As consumer preferences and definitions of what healthy eating means change, so do foodservice menus—and colleges are no exception. According to Technomic’s 2018 Healthy Eating report, 40% of consumers say their definitions of health have changed over the past two years, with some citing a shifting focus to eating a balanced diet rather than trying to eat sugar- or fat-free options. Some diners also say they are trying to be more aware of nutrients and vitamins, while others are looking for whole-grain and enriched options.

One of the biggest trends in...

Menu Development
Meal ingredients

Consumers are pretty well-educated about clean labels, gluten-free options and the value of vegetables in a healthy diet. That’s the baseline for operators in colleges and universities, as well as business and industry, healthcare and even senior living. But diners are continuing to evolve in their never-ending quests to eat healthier, with functional or “healing” foods gaining ground.

So finds Technomic’s recent Healthy Eating Consumer Trend Report , which reveals that eaters are seeking foods that boost the immune system, increase energy, improve digestion and relieve stress. In...

Industry News & Opinion

Howard County Public School System in Ellicott City, Md., will be offering free lunch to students for two days during winter break, The Baltimore Sun reports.

This is the first time the district will be providing meals over winter break. The lunch will be served on Dec. 27 and 28 at two sites in the community.

About 22.2% of the district’s students are enrolled for free or reduced-price meals. The district served 66,276 meals last summer during its summer meal program .

Read the full story via baltimoresun.com .

Industry News & Opinion

Cranston School District in Cranston, R.I., has hired a collection agency to help reduce its lunch debt , NBC 10 reports.

The district’s chief operating officer sent a letter to parents saying that the district would be using a collection agency next year to collect outstanding lunch balances after other collection methods have failed. Parents who owe $20 or more and haven’t paid in the last 60 days will receive a letter from the agency starting Jan. 2, 2019.

Cranston accumulated $95,508 in unpaid lunch balances between Sept. 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018. The district’s meal...

FSD Resources