Farm to Institution

Farm to Institution

Michigan Farm to Institution Network

The Michigan Farm to Institution Network is a space for learning, sharing and working together to get more local food to institutions in order to reach the goal of the Michigan Good Food Charter--purchasing 20 percent of their food from local Michigan producers by 2020. It is a collaboration of the Ecology Center and Michigan State University’s Center for Regional Food Systems.

 

The Michigan Farm to Institution Network helps:

  • Farmers and food suppliers offer the local foods institutions want in the ways they need;
  • Institutions such as hospitals, schools, preschools and colleges find, buy and use local foods; and
  • Eaters at institutions identify, value and enjoy local foods.

 

Network membership is open to institutional food service directors and buyers as well as farmers, food suppliers, advocates, supporters and researchers.

 

Learn more at www.mifarmtoinstitution.org.

Cultivate Michigan

Cultivate Michigan logoCultivate Michigan is the local purchasing initiative of the new Michigan Farm to Institution Network, a collaboration of the Ecology Center and Michigan State University’s Center for Regional Food Systems.

 

Cultivate Michigan is part of a new initiative to help all institutions in Michigan reach the goal of the Michigan Good Food Charter--purchasing 20 percent of their food from local Michigan producers by 2020. Cultivate Michigan is a coordinated effort to gather data about institutional demand for Michigan agricultural products, something never before done on such a large scale in Michigan.

 

Learn more at cultivatemichigan.org.

Healthy Food in Health Care

All aspects of the food system, from farm to plate, are explicitly connected to health. However, our current food system favors industrial farms, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and the mis-use of antibiotics. Healthcare institutions are increasingly recognizing their role in a new health paradigm, as environmental concerns over our damaged food system converge with healthcare’s interest in preventing disease and promoting health. Healthcare institutions have a great opportunity to affect positive change by leveraging their purchasing power -- now 18 percent of the GDP -- and engaging health professionals in improving community health through access to sustainable food.

 

Michigan has the second most diverse agricultural production in the country. Unfortunately, 59 percent of our residents live in a place that has inadequate access to the food they need for a healthy daily diet. With the help of our expert staff at the Ecology Center, health care institutions are making Michigan a leader in shaping a food system that supports prevention-based health care by involvement in our Healthy Food in Health Care program, which is part of the national campaign Health Care Without Harm.

 

The Healthy Food in Health Care program now has the opportunity to bring the voice of Michigan clinicians to a national network of health professionals who are working to preserve antibiotics by ending the misuse in industrialized livestock and poultry production; prevent pesticides and other chemicals from ending up in our food supply and contaminating our bodies and natural resources; and promote a “less meat, better meat” approach to climate change.

Published on December 15, 2014

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