Some 250 hospitals across the country have signed on to the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge attempting to impact the way foods are produced and distributed in the US by using their buying power to demand healthier options.
The institutions involved plan to (and this is directly quoted from their site):
Work with local farmers, community-based organizations and food suppliers to increase the availability of locally-sourced food.
Encourage our vendors and/or food management companies to supply us with food that is, among other attributes, produced without synthetic pesticides and hormones or antibiotics given to animals in the absence of diagnosed disease and which supports farmer health and welfare, and ecologically protective and restorative agriculture.
Implement a stepwise program to identify and adopt sustainable food procurement. Begin where fewer barriers exist and immediate steps can be taken. For example, the adoption of rBGH free milk, fair trade coffee, or introduction of organic fresh fruit in the cafeteria
Communicate to our Group Purchasing Organizations our interest in foods that are identified as local and certified.
Educate and communicate within on our system and to our patients and community about our nutritious, socially just and ecological sustainable food healthy food practices and procedures.
Minimize or beneficially reuse food waste and support the use of food packaging and products which are ecologically protective.
Develop a program to promote and source from producers and processors which uphold the dignity of family, farmers, workers and their communities and support sustainable and humane agriculture systems.
Report annually on implementation of this Pledge.
Sounds like a great idea to me in theory. However, I am opposed demonizing any one type of food. Not all fried food is necessarily going to cause you to have a heart attack. Everything in moderation, my mom always said. I am idealistically hopeful that people will be able to make their own smart decisions about what they eat and that excessive consumption of fried fast food will eventually be avoided at will rather than with official bans. So maybe the “bad” foods don’t need to be banned entirely. But an increase in “fresh, local, sustainable” foods is a must.