Who: Hospital patients
What: Chef prepared cuisine
When: Daily – with breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Where: the Watertown Regional Medical Center in Wisconsin
Take away institutional meal service and create “a restaurant that happens to be in a hospital,” with all meals made from scratch and what do you have?
Nothing similar to what is normally recognized as hospital food, that’s for certain! The term for it describes it well: farm-to-bed cooking.
Literally, most of the food is brought from the small farm next door in a wheelbarrow. Local farms provide much of what the adjacent half-acre can not: pork, beef, free-range organic chicken, and Wisconsin cheeses.
In addition to providing a healthy menu to patients and staff, even the community residents frequent the restaurant for the healthy diet and fine cuisine – the latter helping to provide a source of revenue many hospital eateries simply never see.
The hospital’s executive chef was quoted: “What we believe is that food is medicine — what you eat has as much to do with your overall health.”
He’s not alone: A 2013 study from the University of Maryland found that behavior and environment — which includes following a healthy-foods diet — accounts for 70 percent of one’s health, with medical care a mere 10 percent.
Credit him, Justin Johnson, for the success of the hospital’s program – with only 90-beds, the restaurant has 32 on staff, including a Master Gardener who works as a dishwasher.
Now, we have intentionally omitted a couple of the finer details and a couple of controversial points, but that’s because we would like you to read the full article by Kristine Hansen on Modern Farmer. It’s titled “Farm to Hospital Bed“.