Healthy food systems


Looking at the whole food cycle

At Fairview, we strive to create a healthy food system within our facilities so we may provide an exceptional patient, family and staff experience, show our commitment to community and environmental health and serve as a role model to other health care organizations.

We recognize the connection between healthy food and a healthy community and environment. Our partnership with Sodexo allows us to use its Mindful program, "an approach that focuses on transparency of ingredients, delicious food, satisfying portions and clarity in message so that making Mindful choices becomes second nature."

Food waste

For food scrap waste, recovery opportunities, such as composting and Food to Hogs programs, are responsible environmental alternatives that have environmental and economic benefits.

Fairview Ridges Hospital, University of Minnesota Medical Center and University of Minnesota Children's Hospital collect food scraps, such as fruit peels, egg shells, vegetable cores and coffee grinds, for composting. When food scraps are combined with oxygen, water and yard waste, bacteria break the materials down to create a nutrient rich top soil full of regenerating nutrients, reducing the need for water, fertilizers and pesticides.

Since 2011, we've composted over 379 tons of food waste. 

Food to Hogs
Fairview Southdale Hospital collects food scraps (excluding meat, animal products or coffee grinds) and sends it to a local farm where the food is cooked and fed to hogs. This program provides economical benefits for farmers and keeps food waste out of a landfill.

 Since 2011, we've collected 151 tons of food scraps for the Food to Hogs Program.

Partnering with local farmers

Farm to Fairview farmers markets
During the summer growing season Fairview hosts multiple farmers markets at different locations. These markets give our staff an opportunity to learn about how their food was grown while supporting the local community and healthy food choices.

Community gardens Community gardens
Fairview Lakes Medical Center and Fairview Northland Medical Center have opened our first community gardens where small plots of land are cultivated by local community members and staff. Our goal is to increase local food production, foster physical and emotional wellness and to improve fruit and vegetable consumption in the community.

At Fairview Lakes Medical Center, the Minnesota Department of Health’s Statewide Health Improvement Program, Fairview Foundation and staff donations funded the program.
Community Supported Agriculture Drop-Sites (CSAs)
With a CSA share, local farmers bring fresh and local produce directly to our employees at several drop sites across Fairview. A weekly drop-off makes it convenient for our staff to have fresh produce on their dinner tables throughout the summer growing season. With a CSA membership, our staff invests in farmers and their growing practices. Staff also have an opportunity to get involved with the farmer who supplies their food through site visits and volunteer opportunities.

Local and organic food

We strive to work with our suppliers to provide locally sourced food when possible.

From 2011-2013, Fairview participated in a study with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy evaluating the connection between sustainable farming and health care food sourcing. The study reviewed the the current and potential health care food markets for Midwest sustainable farmers. To review the findings, read the Connecting Sustainable Farmers to Hospitals: Farmer-Focused Report.

Fairview asks FDA to eliminate antibiotic use in food
In 2012, Fairview, along with several other health care organizations, signed a letter of support to the FDA, asking it to phase out the use of antibiotics in food production.

Discrimination is Against the Law. We comply with applicable Federal civil rights laws. We do not discriminate against, exclude or treat people differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.
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