October 7, 2005

Hospital Food

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"Dubbed "Nature Writer" by bookstores and critics, Rick Bass's works are concerned with the nature of the human heart and the heart of nature..."

"I don't know how to start, but perhaps that's no matter. I am only thirty-five years old and the land is over a billion; how can I be expected to know what to say beyond "Please" and "Thank you" and "Ma'am"? The language of the hill country of Texas, or of any sacred place, is not the language of pens on paper, or even of the human voice. It is the language of water cutting down through the country's humped chest of granite, cutting down to the heart and soul of the earth, down to a thing that lies far below and beyond our memory."

"The water which we don't drink or pump onto our crops or give to our livestock - that tiny part which eludes us - continues on to the Gulf Coast, into the bays and estuaries, where delicate moisture contents, delicate salinities are maintained for the birds, shrimp, and other coastal inhabitants that at first glance seem to be far away from and unrelated to the inland mountains."

"A scientist will tell you that it's all connected - that if you live in Texas you must protect the honor and integrity of that country's core, for you are tied to it, it is as much a part of you as family - but if you are a child and given to daydreaming and wondering, I believe that you'll understand this by instinct. You don't need proof that the water moving through those shady creeks up in the wild hills and mountains is the same that later moves through your body."

On Willow Creek
by Rick Bass

Web Link - about Rick Bass
Web Link - also about Rick Bass

Food Features - Hospital Food

"It is safe to say that many Americans eat at least five meals per week away from their homes, yet schools, corporations and large institutions like hospitals have been slow to convert their kitchens, vending machines and snack bars to healthier alternatives. In recent months there have been numerous newspaper and magazine articles about colleges with on-campus organic farms, and the swelling movement to "buy locally" for freshness and quality and to support local economies.

"With the rising cost of fuel, consider this: The long-distance transport of food products is one of the country's primary consumers of fuel. If you live in the central US, your food may travel 1200 to 1500 miles from the California farm where it is grown to your table; if you eat imported produce that number can easily triple.

"In the September 2005 issue of Delicious Living magazine, an article describes "An Organic Change" in the way large institutions view their roles in providing healthy, fresh food. Hospitals are the second largest consumer of catered foods after educational institutions, buying $3.3 billion of food in 2004. New thinking about institutional food involves:

  1. Nutritional content (especially watching fat, sodium and fiber contents)
  2. Taste
  3. Elimination of antibiotics and hormones in the food supply
  4. Contracting with local farmers for locally produced foods.

"An entirely different approach by some members of the Kaiser Permanente system has been to hold weekly community farmers' markets on hospital grounds. While this may not change the food that the hospital offers, it does visibly connect the idea of local organic produce with good health practices. If your hospital or nursing home has a program to go organic or to improve the food available to patients/residents and staff, please let me know so I can pass this on to our readers."

   The Delicious Living article can be read in its entirety at:
Web Link - Delicious Living article

   For a listing of model programs and policies in healthcare environments:
Web Link - model programs and policies

Quotations above are from:
   October 14, 2005 issue of 30 Second Vacation - a weekly newsletter for nurses
   by Katherine Hutman
Web Link - Oct. 14 - 30 Second Vacation Newsletter

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Mums again...

Farmer's market - October 2005


More tomatoes...

Farmer's Market - October 2005

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Edward Abbey


"This would be good country", a tourist says to me. "If only you had some water."

He's from Cleveland, Ohio.

"If we had water here," I reply, "this country would not be what it is. It would be like Ohio, wet and humid and hydrological, all covered with cabbage farms and golf courses. Instead of this lovely barren desert we would have only another blooming garden state, like New Jersey. You see what I mean?"

"If you had more water more people could live here."

"Yes sir. And where then would people go when they wanted to see something besides people?"

Desert Solitaire
by Edward Abbey

Web Link -
Web Link - biography - Ecology Hall of Fame

George Beggs 10/2005 - Feedback is welcome

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