It makes sense to prioritize the quality of diet in hospitals, particularly in desertified countries

Photo credit: Treehugger

© St Luke’s University Farm — Farmer Lynn harvests lettuce

Innovative hospital farm provides fresh, nutritious food to patients

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

by Katherine Martinko

Nutrition plays such an important role in personal health that it makes sense to prioritize the quality of diet in hospitals. The question is, why as has it taken so long?

When my mother underwent a major surgery, she begged me to come cook for her as soon as she got out of the hospital. The food she received while in recovery was so tasteless, stale, and seemingly devoid of nutrients that she thought she would suffer from malnutrition before recovering from the surgery. I stayed with her for weeks, cooking meal after meal with produce from her huge kitchen garden, helping to heal her with nutritious and delicious food.

“That’s why I recovered as quickly as I did,” she told me four years later. “I don’t know how hospitals can get away with serving such awful food to sick patients – the very people who need nourishing meals more than ever.”

One hospital has caught on to this basic concept, realizing that patients should be well fed in order to recover better and to learn about the importance of good nutrition. St. Luke’s University Hospital partnered with the Rodale Institute (a groundbreaking leader in organic agriculture research) to create an ‘hospital farm’ on its Anderson campus in Easton, Pennsylvania.

Read the full article: Treehugger

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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