• U.S. Hospitals Use ‘Novel’ Idea for Recovery

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    This age that food is seen as “filler” and as of a little importance in the process of recovering from illness, turning that idea and embracing local organic food for recovery ad beyond.

    Recently, Rodale Institute partnered up with St. Luke's University Health Network in Pennsylvania to bring the local organic farm to the hospital platter.

    Perhaps the term “hospital cuisine” will now take on a truer, less sarcastic meaning. Like, maybe it will be easier to “stomach” by not appearing already digested. But seriously folks…

    St Luke's Anderson Campus has 300 acres of farmland which used to sprout typical ag crops like corn and soy, EcoWatch reports. Not so anymore, as the hospital administration fully realized the holistic impact of not only providing “organic” (which can be vague) but also the fresh-factor of local and importance of soil health. Thus, Rodale was asked to start transforming the plot to foster organic vegetables, not only to revitalize hospital patients, but also provide for the cafeteria.

    It's a three-year plan with hopes of expansion, hiring more farmers including those without access to their own …

    We have created this model with the belief that it can, and should, be replicated at every hospital throughout the U.S.

    But St. Luke's isn't the first to try this seemingly revolutionary idea. Awhile back, the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital in the Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield made headlines for opening the first-of-its-kind million dollar 1,500 square-foot greenhouse and garden. It provides food and therapeutic benefits to patients and doubles as field trips, workshops and kitchen demonstrations to help people when they return home. The hydroponics-based greenhouse is projected to save the hospital $20,000 on food costs alone.

    Likewise, in 2006, Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago, IL committed to serving 100% organic, made-from-scratch fresh meals, even introducing cultural meals for added comfort. While they may have abandoned that commitment, as I cannot ascertain that info from their site, they stand by disease-prevention and answer the call to wellness with a giant fitness center, employing nutritionists. It's turning its focus on cannabis dispensing as a form of medicine.

    Michelle Lutz had these views in mind when she wrote this op-ed piece about all the extending benefits of organic farms partnering with hospitals. That's why plans like these could be multi-functional and go beyond simply organic. Of course, that would leave other partners like McD's and bottom-of-the-barrel cheap food companies quaking at the thought!

    The adoption of organic methods, particularly no-till organic, is an opportunity for farming both to mitigate agriculture's contributions to climate change and to cope with the effects climate change has had and will have on agriculture.Good organic practices can both reduce fossil fuel use and provide carbon sequestration in the soil through increased soil organic carbon (SOC). Higher SOC levels then increase fertility and the soil's ability to endure extreme weather years.

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