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Hospital Food Shifts to Organic, Low-Sugar

By January 24, 2013 No Comments

imagesThe next time doctors or patients in St. John’s Medical Center’s cafeteria pass up water for a sugary soft drink, they may think twice.  At least, that’s what hospital dieticians hope.

The soft drink reduction campaign is part of an initiative aimed at making the hospital’s food options healthier. One of those was to subsidize the cost of healthier foods by increasing the price of unhealthy items.  The salad bar, for example, costs 10 percent less than it did in December, Hubbard said. In turn, a large soft drink has shrunk from 22 ounces to 16 ounces, but the price is the same.

Another part of the program is a new focus on local and organic food products.  Beginning this spring an organic farm in Teton Valley, Idaho will deliver fresh vegetables to St. John’s each week. Chefs at the cafeteria have also switched to using cage-free eggs and natural meat that doesn’t contain antibiotics or hormones.

Hospital food is often compared to airplane food, Maddex said, but it shouldn’t be that way. The hospital should be a model for the community.  “Everybody should be eating healthy,” she said. “But I do think that people sometimes look to hospital staff as examples. We should be walking the walk.”

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