From Green Jell-O to Greens

Posted June 02, 2014
Virginia Mason's Farmers' Market goods

A hospital is the last place you’re likely to think of when looking for a good meal. But Seattle’s foodie and farmers’ market culture is sending canned beets and green Jell-O the way of the dodo, with local hospitals making fresh, sustainable—and most of all tasty—food a part of their offerings for patients and their support groups. Virginia Mason’s First Hill location runs a Friday Farmers’ Market (dates TBD), that is open to the public and includes cooking demonstrations and nutrition information among the fresh produce offerings. At Swedish’s Issaquah location, Café 1910 features a Wood Stone pizza oven and a wok station and turns out individualized dishes for the community, patients, staff and caregivers. Corporate executive chef Eric Eisenberg says that 95 percent of the food is made from scratch, “replacing relied-on convenience foods with wholesome cooking and having items made-to-order for patients.” Similarly, Overlake and UW Medical recently won second and third place, respectively, for a Sustainable Food Procurement award from Healthy Food in Health Care, which tracks hospitals’ healthy food changes. While hospital stays are never a picnic, food like this might just help the medicine go down.

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