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Healthy - Institutions and Consumers as Buyers of Good Food

Green Guide for Health Care as guideline for institutional purchasing of Good Food. Reboot Your Life.

April 21, 2011: "Healthy" - Institutions and Consumers as Buyers of Good Food


Institutional purchasing is a significant part of the food system, and hospitals are an obvious market for Good Food. With their focus on health as their primary function, hospitals are looking holistically, and are interested in providing healthy, local food in their cafeterias.

The Green Guide for Health Care Food Service Credits are the nation’s first and only institutional sustainable food service metric. Through an overview of the Green Guide Tool and examples from an inspiring hospital, learn how the GGHC metrics are helping support Good Food in institutions, the community and supply chain.

And as a special bonus, NGFN partner organization "Reboot Your Life" Founder Joe Cross talks about the consumer side of healthy Good Food - the power of fruits and vegetables. He discusses how eating right is the key to health and vitality.  Reboot Your Life is a health and wellness company that offers support, encouragement, community, media and tools to everyday people.  The company helps people change their eating habits by simply adding more fruits and vegetables into their diets.




Download the presenters' slides




Presenter Bios

Jamie HarvieJamie Harvie, P. E.

is the Executive Director of the Institute for a Sustainable Future (ISF), a Duluth, MN based not for profit organization where he directed Health Care Without Harm’s (HCWH) Healthy Food in Health Care Initiative. With colleagues he is involved in the development of a Regenerative Healthcare network, exploring the intersection of regenerative healthcare design and prevention focused healthcare. He serves on the steering committee for the Green Guide for Healthcare, the healthcare sector’s only quantifiable sustainable design and operations toolkit. Jamie coordinated HCWH’s successful mercury elimination campaign where he led negotiations with the top US retailers to voluntarily eliminate the sale of mercury thermometers, and successfully coordinated the successful introduction of mercury legislation across the United States. He speaks internationally on ecological health issues. His organization won a MN Governor’s Award for his work on Healthy Food in Healthcare, and he was recognized as a “National Thought Leader” for his work on healthcare and sustainable food systems by the Natural Resources Defense Council. Mr. Harvie has consulted on pollution prevention for clients including the State of Minnesota and the Chinese Environmental Protection Agency.

Eecole CopenEecole Copen, M.S., R.D.

is the Sustainable Food Programs Coordinator and a Registered Dietitian for the Food and Nutrition Department (F&N) of Oregon Health and Science University. She has recently developed a Sustainable Food Systems 5-year Strategic Plan for F&N, manages waste reduction programming, and coordinates the hospital’s Farmers Market. She serves on several workgroups, including the Healthy Eating at Farmers Market group, where market managers from the region look at ways to increase access to healthy eating for low income patrons; the Healthy Food in Healthcare group, where several hospital food service directors, chefs and dietitians collaborate to increase procurement of sustainably produced foods within the healthcare setting; and the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition dietetics practice group, where dietitians work on developing materials that educate health care professionals on the link between food and climate change. Some of her work outside the hospital has included working with the Portland-Multnomah Food Policy Council where she developed a Fruit and Nut Tree policy to encourage the planting of food-bearing trees within city limits.

Joe CrossJoe Cross

is an Australian entrepreneur and investor who invests in early stage high potential growth companies. These include investments in the fashion, transportation, private equity finance, derivatives trading, early childhood education, structural steel distribution and health and wellness sectors.

Joe began his business career as a trader on the Sydney Futures Exchange where he worked from the early 1980s until 1998. During this time, Joe founded several companies in the derivatives trading and technology space.

From the late 1990s until 2003, Joe managed a diverse portfolio of assets in telecommunications, media, technology and financial services for Queensland Press Ltd, a wholly owned company of News Corp. During 2003, Joe began investing his own capital through his investment vehicle Jaymsea Investments Pty Ltd. A number of these businesses have gone from a start up to a thriving and successful business in a few short years. Today, Jaymsea has a diverse portfolio of active investments with financial and managerial stakes in high potential growth companies. The portfolio includes: Thakoon, a leading US based high end fashion label; Willow, a high end Australian based fashion label; and Citibabes, a club and education centre for families with small children.

Most recently, Joe founded Reboot Your Life. Reboot Your Life is a health and wellness company that offers support, encouragement, community, media and tools to everyday people (like you and me). The company helps people change their eating habits by simply adding more fruits and vegetables into their diets.

We are a consumer brand offering products and entertainment. We are an online community and nutrition portal, and we are a friend reminding you that your nutrition choices impact your health, well-being and vitality. We provide a guiding hand to help you make a change and Reboot Your Life. Visit today.

Joe lives in New York and Sydney.

Written Q&A from the Webinar

Q: I'm interested in a face to face mentorship. Spearheading a therapeutic garden and on site foundation farm at a rehab hospital in PA. Any contact info? Thanks!
A: I would contact your local Master Gardener extension. They are super helpful.. and sometimes contribute funds.

Q: What are the biggest challenges for a CSA to get a hospital to "let them in"
A: We have a CSA associated with our hospital as of this year. I think it just takes getting someone to be the liaison for organizing a place for a drop off. It's a great idea!
A: It is more that a hospital often does not know what a CSA is! As a result, there are concerns about collecting money, potential liability, etc. Through experience these concerns are slowly eroding. There are mateials now available and a host of webinars helping educate hospitals.

Q: Why is the size of the farm not a key critieria?  I would argue that size is the most important criteria and that something like distance is not relevant.  The majority of food-related emissions comes from the over-production waste and loss that occurs in the industrial food distribution chain from farmer, to processer, to distributor, to retail shelf.
A: We define “farms” as independently owned, or cooperatively owned. There is lots of detail in the Green Guide for Health Care!

Q: What are some of the constraints for hospitals to use the guide and buy into institutionalizing this guide?
A: Cost of higher quality goods. However, as the demand grows, the costs come down. Also.. buy-in by leadership. You really need to make sure you are addressing the institution's priorities so you have a good argument.

Q: The natural food store on campus -is it profitable - you make gross $550,000 per year. How long has it been running?
A: About 3 years

Q: It seems your work is recognizing these practices, but how have you gotten administration to support and implement healthy local food into their cafeterias?
A: It depends. There is lots of healthcare work where they are serving local healthy food. Most hospital food 60% is served in hospitals. This is where most of the ""action"" is happening!

Q: For instance overcoming resistance to change, by staff and patients, is a major roadblock.
A: Yes, a lot of education and repeated exposure to these concepts in helpful. We just started an internal blog to highlight some of these efforts. Plus public media around these issues is making them more familiar and accessible.

Q: Is there an equivalent to Healthcare without Harm in Canada?
A: I'm Canadian. It is easily used. Not US specific. Feel free to email me ( and I can explain!

Q: Eecole: Have you been able to increase the use of fresh produce over frozen?  If so, how?
A: We completely changed our produce purchases to about 90% fresh. Very little is now frozen.

Q: Eecole: Do you have published hospital nutrition concession standards? If not would you consider?
A: I'll ask the moderator to link to them somewhere. [SEE RESOURCES SECTION]

Q: Who responded to the 2010 survey- patients, visitors, etc?
A: All internal staff

Q: Eecole: Do you have published hospital nutrition concession standards? If not would you consider?
A: I'm happy to share the standards we have for the Natural Foods Store. We don't have broad standards. [SEE RESOURCES SECTION]

Q: Eecole- This is more of a big picture question, but are you concerned about the legitimacy of terms like ""organic"" or ""sustainable?"" There doesn't seem to be a consistent standard for how these terms are applied. Are you at all dubious about this (very impressive) model succeeding on a larger scale? Thank you.
A: Enforceable certifications I don’t worry about, but yes, sustainable has a broad definition.

Q: Eecole mentioned evaluating the price/cost implications of choosing more sustainable food supplies (meat, etc)...How have these changes impacted her overall budget, or how does she anticipate they will impact her overall budget?
A: They will definitely be a budget increase, but there are ways to offset costs. For example: purchasing less meat overall and spending the savings on higher quality meat can help neutralize the budget. Finding ways to save small amounts on a few products can make money available for these changes.

Q: Do you see the Green Guide for Health Care moving beyond hospitals to other institutions or even restaurants?
A: That is why I was interested in sharing the GGHC. It is easily adaptable to other institutional sectors. It is free, open. Some pieces may be healthcare specific but otherwise, yes, hopefully. Green Seal has a system for restaurants. There is significant overlap.

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