Alright, so our last blog post was about eating healthier as preventative care (view the full blog post here) so let’s keep this healthy food/healthy body theme going. Before continuing with the rest of this post, we’d like to thank Organic Connections for providing us with this enlightening information. They have some great articles if you want to check out their site! Anyways, keep reading to learn about another potential healthcare reformation through healthy food.
When you think of hospital food, “delicious” and “healthy” probably aren’t the first words that come to mind. The mass produced foods can contain chemicals, fats, and processing, and generally have very little nutritional value. The Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital’s food is a different story. All of the patient food prepared in the hospital kitchen either comes from local sustainable producers or from an on-site organic greenhouse operated by a devoted Detroit-area organic farmer.
“’When they were opening this particular facility five years ago, the CEO at the time decided that the food culture here would be completely different,’ Michelle Lutz, resident farmer at Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, told Organic Connections. ‘He really wanted the food to be fresh and healthy, and wanted to influence people in their diets – not just from a healing perspective while they were with us but long term. He wished to help people avoid bad food and heal from chronic diseases. He knew diet was a very powerful way to do that.’”
Sustainable and Locally Sourced –
Before having its own growing facility due to the lack of initial funding, the hospital sourced food that was local and sustainably grown. Lutz’s relationship developed with the hospital and its staff after growing food for them, and she now operates their organic greenhouse.
Healing and Teaching the Community –
Aside from providing leafy greens, flavorful herbs, and a handful of different fruits for the hospital, the greenhouse is also an educational and therapeutic facility. “Farmer for a Day” and “Chef for a Day” are programs taught in the greenhouse that are designed to educate and inspire children to maintain and attain a healthy diet. Patients and family members of patients will often visit the greenhouse because, as Lutz says, “just being around living things is so therapeutic.”
Multiple schools, healthcare facilities, and senior-assisted living centers in the community have visited the facility once or multiple times and have used it as a resource to better educate themselves and others on organic cultivation.
Healthy Mission –
As an experienced and passionate organic farmer, Lutz’s missions are to make a positive impact and to inspire patients to properly nourish themselves through healthy eating. As chief operator of the greenhouse, Lutz concluded, “we want to make sure that while you’re here we are giving you food that can actually help heal you and assist you on your road to recovery. Then maybe if you’ve been wanting to change your diet, we can hopefully inspire you to do so. Sometimes that’s all it takes.”
(picture from Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital website)
For more information on Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, please visit: www.henryfordwestbloomfield.com.