Seafood is no doubt the healthier option when it comes to contemplating mealtimes. It contains high concentrations of countless necessary nutrients, can lower your risk of strokes and heart attacks, boost brain health, improve sleep quality, and even help treat and prevent depression – all of which are great for patients with compromised health and restricted diets. However, many hospitals and healthcare facilities still choose to keep this incredible protein off their menus at the expense of their patients – but one is pushing back. The US Davis Health Hospital serves approximately 500 lbs. of fish per week, and is the “first hospital in the nation to receive the sustainable seafood designation from the James Beard Foundation Smart Catch program.” And if they can do it, so can you. Here’s how:
One of the greatest ways Chef Diaz at US Davis Health has been able to provide so much high quality seafood since the program began is by sourcing the fish sustainably through local vendors and fishermen. Their salmon, for instance, comes from Campbell River, British Columbia, while much of their other fish, including their sturgeon and steelhead trout, are sourced from Passmore Ranch, a local sustainable fish farm less than 20 miles from the hospital – and they are always on the hunt for new sources of incredible seafood that they can add to their menu. When feeding such a large population of people without compromising sustainability, diversity is key.
Though US Davis Health’s Smart Catch designation had a lot to do with purchasing decisions, there is still a lot more to it than that. For instance, in order to even be eligible for the recognition, applicants must “keep detailed records and comply with multiple assessments over a 10-month period,” as well as “avoid purchasing species that are listed as endangered on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species” and the Seafood Watch’s “Avoid” list. For Diaz, this meant branching out and making sure the hospital was able to acquire a wide selection of both fresh and saltwater fish for its menu. Plus, keeping recipes flexible to accommodate the new versatile inventory. While this means you may not be able to offer salmon exclusively every week, it will give your foodservice staff more to work with for less!
Thanks to the efforts of Chef Diaz and the rest of the foodservice experts at US Davis Health, they expect to see 40% of all their ingredients sourced sustainably by the end of 2019’s fiscal year – which is a big jump from the 16% it was at when the program began. But that’s not all. From its unexpected environmental impact reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to the dramatic overall increase of patient satisfaction, the benefits to establishing a sustainable seafood program truly are endless. Call 629.777.8989, or fill in the free consultation form in the sidebar, to learn more about how our software can positively impact the lives of the patients and visitors you service every day.