Hospital menus getting green overhaul

Soon “hospital food” may no longer mean the worst American factory-farmed cuisine has to offer. A handful of hospitals around the country are starting to put hormone-free meats, rBGH-free milk, and organic veggies on their menus. For years, the best advice of health-care professionals hasn’t been reflected in the typical hospital menu. But now, hospitals “are increasingly seeing food as a treatment issue and not necessarily as a cost center,” according to Scott Exo, director of a group working with hospitals to green up their menus. Patients at the Good Shepherd Medical Center in rural Hermiston, Ore., for example, now get made-to-order meals featuring organic, sustainably grown meats and produce. Food waste is down, and people are even asking for the recipes. The trend is partially driven by baby boomers, who are spending more time in hospitals and want the meals to appeal to their restaurant-honed palates.