Healthy Food in Health Care Report

Healthy Food in Health Care Report



This Pledge Report details the concrete food purchasing steps these facilities are making. For example:
-- 80 facilities (70%) are purchasing up to 40% of their produce locally
-- Over 90 facilities (80%) are purchasing rBGH-free milk
-- 100% have increased fresh fruit and vegetable offerings
-- 50 facilities (44%) are purchasing meat produced without the use of hormones or antibiotics

Heath Care without Harm , an international coalition of more than 473 organizations in 52 countries, is working to transform the health care sector, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it is ecologically sustainable and no longer a source of harm to public health and the environment. For more information on the healthy food pledge see http://www.noharm.org/us/food /pledge .

To learn more about HCWH's work on food and other issues related to health care www.healthyfoodinhealthcare.org .

Jamie Harvie, HCWH Food Coordinator, (218) 340-6442
Marie Kulick, HCWH Purchasing Coordinator, (612) 870-3422



The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) filed a letter with USDA this week supporting a legal complaint that calls for an investigation of the two factory farms that the Horizon organic dairy company manages and sources for a significant portion of their "organic" dairy products. As discussed in previous issues of Organic Bytes, since 2006, the OCA has called for a boycott of Horizon's (Dean Foods) dairy products, due to the corporation's practice of packing as many as 8,000 cattle onto feedlots, with little or no access to pasture, and then misleadingly labeling these products as "organic". OCA's ally, The Cornucopia Institute has filed several legal complaints with the USDA, demanding an investigation of the factory farms, but such requests have, thus far, fallen on deaf ears. Serving as a representative for our 850,000 members, volunteers and subscribers, the OCA is putting heat on the USDA to investigate and sanction the Horizon factory farms.
Learn more: http://wwww.organicconsumers.org/sos.cfm

Keeping Rachel Carson's Legacy Alive in 2008

Last year, in honor of the 100th anniversary of Rachel Carson's birthday, May 27, 2007, communities, schools and organizations all over the world held commemorative events and created expanded websites dedicated to promoting Carson's legacy and her most controversial book, Silent Spring, that was a call to action for ecological awareness and responsibility.

Silent Spring is as relevant today as when it was published in 1962. Carson exposed the extensive harm caused by the reckless use of modern chemicals and eloquently explained the intimate connection between our health and the quality of our environment. To a public dazzled by chemical industry marketing and government complicity, Silent Spring detailed the assault on the essential elements that sustain life: clean air, clean water, and safe food. Chapter 14, "One in Four," explains the link between the environment and cancer.

Although Carson died of cancer on April 14, 1964, less than two years after the publication of Silent Spring, Carson still inspires citizens and policy makers to make sustainability and public health a priority, especially to reduce pollution (such as pesticides) that contribute to asthma, cancer, and other environmentally-related illnesses.

Speaking at a 1962 graduation ceremony Carson said, "Your generation must come to terms with the environment. Your generation must face realities instead of taking refuge in ignorance and evasion of truth. Yours is a grave and a sobering responsibility, but it is also a shining opportunity. You go out into a world where mankind is challenged, as it has never been challenged before, to prove its maturity and its mastery -- not of nature, but of itself. Therein lies our hope and our destiny. In today already walks tomorrow." (Scripps College Commencement, 6/12/62).

Films, Links, Lesson Plans

This year, the play A Sense of Wonder, based on Carson's life and her writings by acclaimed actress Kaiulani Lee, has been filmed! The film's website, http://www.asenseofwonderfilm.com includes information and a trailer of the film .

Bill Moyers Journal (9/21/07) features the life and legacy of Rachel Carson and the start of the modern environmental movement. The show includes an interview with Kaiulani Lee and excerpts from the play, A Sense of Wonder.

Go online to Watch the Video: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/09212007/watch.html

Read the Transcript: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/09212007/transcript1.html .

Teachers can find Lesson Plans: http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/educators/rachelcarson.html (activities for science, English, and civics classrooms, grades 6-12.)

Find "Rachel Carson 2008 events and "Legacy Resoucres" at the the Rachel Carson Homestead website at http://www.rachelcarsonhomestead.org. Find links to more videos, websites and resources about Rachel Carson online at the Rachel Carson Institute at http://www.chatham.edu/RCI/rclinks.html, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at http://www.fws.gov/rachelcarson/, The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson at http://www.rachelcarson.org, and What Would Rachel Say? at http://journal.rcn.net/RachelCarson2007.

-- Ellie Goldberg, M.Ed. www.healthy-kids.info


Real Food Challenge


Slow Food Nation

Think Before You Pink

Yoplait's fall campaign, Save Lids to Save Lives, continues to urge consumers to buy pink-lidded cups of Yoplait yogurt. For each pink lid mailed back to the company by December 31, Yoplait donates ten cents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, up to $1.5 million. Sadly, a woman would have to eat three containers of Yoplait every day during the four-month campaign to raise $36 for the cause--and the yogurt is made from cows treated with rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone). Recent studies show that rBGH dairy products may be linked with an increased risk of breast, colon, and prostate cancer.


Cost Savings

See great article on NIH Nutrition Department. ...rBGH-free milk
vendor happens to provide cost savings...

Jamie Harvie, Food Coordinator HCWH
Institute for a Sustainable Future
32 E. 1st Street, Suite 206, Duluth, MN 55802


Avoid rBGH Milk

AMA President Suggests Hospitals Avoid rBGH Milk, Host Farmers Markets
Ronald M. Davis, MD, president of the American Medical Association, reports that many conditions linked to toxic pollutants are on the rise. He urges hospitals to stop using devices made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic (also known as the "poison plastic") because of the toxins released when they are incinerated and the phthalate DEHP used in manufacturing them.
He then goes on to say: ³Using alternatives to PVC and DEHP is one way for hospitals and health care facilities to become 'greener.' Another is by serving fresh, local, or organic foods to patients, staff members, and visitors. Hospitals should buy meat and poultry raised without non-therapeutic antibiotics, use milk produced without recombinant bovine growth hormone, and replace unhealthy snacks found in many vending machines with healthy choices. Hosting farmers markets, either on hospital grounds or nearby, is another appealing option.²
source: AMA eNews, April 24 edition


Sign the petition for Food and Water Watch

May 6, 2008 Every day we get a little bit closer to an rBGH-free milk supply as more and more major retailers are responding to the growing consumer demand for healthier milk. Chipotle, Kroger, and Wal-Mart are the most recent stores to join the trend. We're collecting 10,000 petition signatures to thank companies that have gone rBGH-free and to encourage other companies to do the same. Will you sign our petition?

In January, Chipotle began serving only rBGH-free sour cream and cheese in its restaurants, and Kroger and Wal-Mart both announced that they will only source rBGH-free milk for their store brands. The artificial growth hormone rBGH is known to increase infections in cows and there are ongoing questions about its links to cancer in humans.
Sign the petition thanking these companies for making the switch to healthier milk and dairy products.

While certain retailers are responding to consumers' rBGH concerns, unfortunately some states are not. Currently, five states are considering legislation or regulations that would restrict consumers' right to know whether their milk was produced with rBGH. These five states are Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, New York, and Utah.

And two states -- Pennsylvania and Ohio-- both recently passed regulations that restrict 'rBGH-free' labels and require an FDA disclaimer stating there's no difference between milk produced with or without the artificial hormone. Research, however, disagrees with this disclaimer-- that's why rBGH's use is prohibited in over 30 other countries.

Please spread the word and help us collect 10,000 petition signatures thanking the above companies for making the switch. A strong show of support for healthier milk and dairy products will be valuable in our future advocacy efforts with other dairy retailers who have yet to go rBGH-free.

Thanks for taking action,
Filmona Hailemichael
Food and Water Watch



Jamie Harvie, (218) 525 7806 (W) (218) 340 6442 (Cell) ;
Barbara Sattler, DrPH, RN, FAAN , (410) 706 1924 ;

Also see:
Nurses rBGH-free Dairy Toolkit


(5/1/08 – Arlington, VA). Today, the Nurses Work Group of Health Care Without Harm, announced the release of an rBGH-free Dairy Toolkit in conjunction with National Nurses Week, May 6th – May 12th. The rBGH-free Dairy Toolkit is a collection of resources to help nurses across the country advocate for rBGH-free dairy products in their hospitals, for their patients and in their homes.

Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH or rBST) is an artificial hormone given to dairy cows to increase milk production. “There are growing concerns that the use of rBGH may pose unnecessary risks to human health,” stated Karen A. Ballard, MA, RN, the Nurses Work Group’s Chair. “Precaution is a principle of our profession, so especially when our health is concerned, it is logical to avoid the use of dairy produced with this unnecessary hormone.” The use of rBGH has been banned in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and all 27 nations of the European Union.

Hospitals and health systems that have reduced or eliminated their use of rBGH dairy include:

• The National Institutes of Health, Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center
• Catholic Health Care West Health System
• Fletcher Allen Medical Center, Vermont
• Oregon Health and Sciences University Medical Center
• Children’s Hospitals of Minnesota
• St. Luke’s Hospital, Minnesota

“The toolkit is a great collection of resources to help nurses promote healthy choices by encouraging our hospitals and our patients to purchase rBGH-free dairy,” stated Barbara Sattler, DrPH, RN, FAAN, nurse and Director of the Environmental Health Education Center at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. “Since many of our hospitals are already purchasing rBGH-free milk, I hope that companies such as Dannon and Yoplait will support our interest in health by eliminating the use of rBGH in their products, especially yogurt.”

HCWH encourages health care providers to purchase non-rBGH dairy products from suppliers. There are two categories of non-rBGH milk, organic and conventional. Organic is available in most parts of the country, usually at higher prices than conventional. Non-rBGH milk, often similarly priced to rBGH milk, may sometimes be labeled as containing "no artificial (or added) hormones." Buyers should ask their dairy suppliers for their policies on availability and verification methods for non-rBGH dairy products.

Across the country hospitals and healthy systems are adopting practices and policies to minimize the ecological health impacts from food production. Currently, 119 hospitals nationwide have signed Health Care Without Harm’s Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge (www.noharm.org/us/food/pledge).

HCWH is an international coalition of more than 470 organizations in 52 countries, working to transform the health care industry worldwide, without compromising patient safety or care, so that it is ecologically sustainable and no longer a source of harm to public health and the environment. HCWH includes over 30 national and international nurse organizations.

The Nurses rBGH-free Dairy Toolkit is available at www.noharm.org/us/nurses/rbgh. To learn more about HCWH’s work on food and health see www.healthyfoodinhealthcare.org. HCWH’s position on rBGH can be found at: http://www.noharm.org/details.cfm?ID=1104&type=document.