15 Mar 5 Reasons to Invest in Healthy Institutional Food
Roasted cauliflower with vegan gravy? Skeptical, Christine, keeps a napkin close at hand just in case she needs to discretely expel the contents from her mouth. Christine doesn’t like cauliflower, but is participating in a taste test for the new healthy hospital cafeteria program where she works and feels she must give it a try. A lengthy internal pep talk ensues. Then a deep breath, a quick prayer, and a bite. Christine exclaims, “I can’t believe it. This is delicious!” As it turns out, Christine likes cauliflower.
The International Food Information Council Foundation reports that Americans want to eat healthy, but find it difficult to access nutritious foods. Institutional food that tastes good goes a long way in not only giving people access to healthy food, but also in helping make healthy choices the easy choice every time.
Why make the switch to a healthy food service program?
1. Rebuild palates.
Daily food experiences play a significant role in what people choose to eat. In his book “The End of Overeating” author David Kessler, MD., former Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration explains how sugar, fat and salt interact with the opioid circuits of the brain to trigger responses for more of those foods. Retraining the brain for healthy choices starts with making them available and appealing.
2. Reduce diet-related diseases.
The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines states that about half of all American adults—117 million individuals—have one or more preventable chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, and poor bone health. Diets high in saturated fat, sugar, and salt comes with a high price tag and deep heart ache as loved ones suffer from the pain of their disease.
3. Support the local economy.
Serving healthy food means starting with fresh and raw ingredients which can cost less in season from local farmers. Plus, the food tastes better when it’s picked at peak ripeness and on the plate hours later. For every dollar of new local food sales revenue earned by the farmer, the total impact on the local economy is estimated to be $1.66. Delicious food and a stronger community – that’s a win for everyone.
4. Save the planet.
The World Health Organization states that 2 billion people suffer from vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Harvard Medical School reports a broad healthy diet emphasizing fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, low-fat protein, and dairy products offers the best opportunity to ensure you’re eating the proper vitamins and minerals. Coincidentally, a diet high in healthy foods also supports environmental sustainability.
5. Increase sales.
The attention on eating healthy is here to stay. If you aren’t heading in the direction of serving healthy food, you’re missing out on a growing population of eaters. According to the Nielsen/NMI Health and Wellness in America report, 89% of Americans say taking personal responsibility for one’s health is the best way to stay healthy. And more of them are putting action to this claim.
The good news is that good, healthy food changes everything.