It's something of a circular irony that American hospitals spend so much time and money treating chronic diseases — billions upon billions of dollars — yet feed their patients and patients' families junk. This common practice occurs despite the fact that simple measures like exercising and eating healthy foods can help prevent disease.
In other words, hospitals may be promoting the very diseases they attempt to heal.
Thankfully, at least one hospital is looking to change this pattern. St. Luke's University Health Network in Easton, Pa. decided to use extra land it acquired at its Anderson Campus to start a five-acre organic farm in partnership with the Rodale Institute, and the project is already starting to pay off: the first harvest is expected to exceed the farm's 44,000-pound goal.
While most of the food is currently served in St. Luke's Anderson Campus cafeterias, the hospital eventually wants to include items on patients' menus.
You can read more about St. Luke's mission on NationSwell, and in the meantime, check out this video about the farm and the people who created it. We hope this serves as an example of the possibility for change in America's broken hospital system!