Maryland hospitals are buying more food locally, according to a new analysis.
Forty hospitals in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Northern Virginia are now purchasing locally grown fruits and vegetables regularly during the growing season and nine are consistently purchasing meat or poultry produced by local farmers who use sustainable agricultural practices, according to Maryland Hospitals for a Healthy Environment.
“Incorporating more local and sustainable foods requires a modification of the traditional purchasing practices of hospitals,” said Louise Mitchell, the organization's sustainable foods program manager.“Leading hospitals in this region deserve a lot of credit for their persistence, determination and strategic thinking on how to make it work.”
The hospitals spent nearly $30,000 on local foods in one week during the Buy Local Challenge last July, twice the amount purchased during the same week in 2010 and translating to at least $60,000 of positive impact on the local economy. Highest purchases for the week included Union Hospital of Cecil County at $5,482, Meritus Medical Center at $2,187 and Civista Medical Center at $1,841.
Sustainable agricultural practices for meat and poultry as being raised, at a minimum, without the routine use of antibiotics, without arsenic additives or added growth hormones, and ideally, raised outside on pasture, according to the group.
Calvert Memorial Hospital in Prince Frederick served locally, pasture-raised beef from Quiet Meadow Farm in the cafeteria as a pilot project. They are now exploring ways to add sustainable beef to the menu more regularly this year.
The 12 hospitals that purchased local sustainable meat and poultry in 2011 were:
Anne Arundel Medical Center, Calvert Memorial Hospital*, Carroll Hospital Center, Franklin Square Hospital Center, Good Samaritan Hospital, Harbor Hospital, Meritus Medical Center*National Rehabilitation Hospital, Union Hospital of Cecil County, Union Memorial Hospital, University of Maryland Medical Center*, Washington Hospital Center. *piloted this purchasing initiative
The 40 hospitals purchased local foods were:
Maryland Anne Arundel Medical Center, Atlantic General Hospital, Baltimore Washington Medical Center, Bon Secours Hospital, Calvert Memorial Hospital, Carroll Hospital Center, Chester River Hospital Center, Civista Medical Center, Doctors Community Hospital, Franklin Square Hospital Center, Frederick Memorial Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Harbor Hospital, Harford Memorial Hospital, The Johns Hopkins Hospital Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, Maryland General Hospital, Mercy Medical Center, Meritus Medical Center, Montgomery General Hospital, Mt. Washington Pediatric Center, Oak Crest, Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Shady Grove Adventist Hospital, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Saint Agnes Hospital, St. Joseph Medical Center, St. Mary’s Hospital, Suburban Hospital, Union Hospital of Cecil County, Union Memorial Hospital, University of Maryland Medical Center, Upper Chesapeake Medical Center, Western Maryland Regional Medical Center,
District of Columbia
Children’s National Medical Center, National Rehabilitation Hospital, Washington Hospital Center,
Inova Alexandria Hospital, Inova Fairfax Hospital