University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital is now offering local beef, chicken and vegetables in its cafeterias.
On Fridays, Kentucky grass-fed beef and Kentucky-raised chicken is on the menu. Kentucky vegetables are served in its dining areas all week and are served in patient meals, UK officials said.
“Using grass-fed beef and other locally sourced ingredients in the food we offer is a win-win for our citizens and our community.” said J.J. Housley, UK Healthcare’s director of enterprise operations.
Grass-fed beef has less fat, more heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids and more anti-oxidants, UK health officials said.
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Ashton Potter Wright, the local food coordinator for the Bluegrass region, said most institutions buy from large, corporate food suppliers, which often don’t use local food.
“UK Healthcare has overcome roadblocks that often keep local farm products out of big institutions,” Wright said. “It is proving it is possible to bring in Kentucky-raised protein and vegetables at a competitive price, in enough volume, with high quality and consistency.”
The beef comes from Foxhollow Farm and is supplied through Superior Meats, a vendor for Morrison HealthCare, a hospital food service thatserves 640 hospitals and health care systems. The local vegetables are from Piazza Produce, anothervendor for Morrison.
“UK Healthcare’s model can be used at other institutions that buy most of their food from large, corporate suppliers,” Wright said.
The program started in June, UK officials said.
There are similar local food programs at Norton Healthcare hospitals in Louisville.