While much of our work is based on systems level change for a healthy, fair, affordable food system, we also work to incubate, support, document and share innovative community-based programs that encourage healthy living through increasing access, promotion, and affordability of fresh healthy food. We work with community partners throughout Michigan, particularly in Detroit and Ann Arbor, on a number of initiatives that bring together eaters, health care professionals, and sustainable food system businesses on the ground.  

We're always looking to learn about and share innovative models and opportunities for promoting healthy people, communities, and environments by connecting food systems and health care. Take a look at some of our current initiatives below.  Get in touch if there's something you have to share or would like to see featured here!

 

Fresh Prescription

Fresh Prescription is a fruit and vegetable prescription program that brings together the healthcare system and the food system, fostering innovative relationships to build a healthy sustainable food system in Detroit. This promising approach to a healthier food system connects patients to fresh, locally-grown produce while providing direct economic benefits to small and midsize farmers.

Learn More.

 

First Food Program

The Ecology Center’s First Food program fosters a reciprocal relationship with maternal and infant health providers, breastfeeding advocates, and others in Detroit to champion a healthy, sustainable food system that increases healthy food access for families and promotes breast milk as the ideal first food for babies. To protect babies and breast milk, we work to minimize the use of pesticides and the unnecessary use of antibiotics, as well as our use of toxic chemicals that contaminate our food system.

Learn More.

 

Connecting to Community Resources

There are a number of localized guides and resources than can help you connect to good food in your community. We're still working to update our website and bring everything on board, but check back soon for more!

"Hospitals Sow Seeds for Healthier Communities" This resource discusses how hospitals can build community around healthy eating, connecting physical health to the health of our food system. As large institutions, hospitals support a model for community health and wellness that goes far beyond their own walls.

"Farmers Markets and CSAs on Hospital Grounds" This pamphlet offers instructions for administrators on the best way to create farmer's markets and utilize CSAs on hospital grounds. Precisely because they are important community and health institutions, hospitals and hospital systems are in a unique position to both treat diet-related illness and address their root causes.

We're working on a "Guide to Good Food" which will put information about where to find fresh food directly in the hands of Detroit residents. It will include a map of farmer's markets and farm stands, as well as a comprehensive listing of programs that offer help with growing food, nutrition, and cooking classes, and ways to get "Good Food" on a budget. 

 

Connecting Farm to Institution

When institutions invest in healthy, sustainable, fair and affordable food, whether through programs, procurement, or infrastructure, they have a cascading effect. From increasing farmer's market options in communities to supporting small and midsize farmers, when institutions like hospitals and schools commit to making a change in the food system, they're also making a change for the communities they serve.

Learn more about how you can get your institution started with healthy food procurement

Published on February 21, 2017

News

News  |  August 30, 2018
At the end of June, the Ecology Center and the Detroit Food Policy Network, in partnership with Health Care Without Harm, hosted healthcare and community food systems professionals for a learning and networking event, Harvesting Health: Food as Prevention.
News  |  May 30, 2018
“You are what you eat.” Usually taken as an individual diet mantra, the old saying is gaining new relevance on the community scale as a rubric to transform healthcare. It’s hard to stay healthy if you lack access to fresh, healthy food.
News  |  December 21, 2017
2017 has seen unprecedented rollbacks on public health and the environment. Ever wonder what you can do? Here are some concrete ways to create positive impact on climate, as well as other critical environmental health issues in 2018.
News  |  October 26, 2017
The Healthy Stuff team has been working on researching phthalates (THAL-eights), a plasticizer and solvent. We found that almost all the cheese products we tested were contaminated with phthalates, a hormone disruptor.
News  |  July 27, 2017
On Tuesday, June 20, 2017, food service directors and members of the Michigan Farm to Institution Network (MFIN) gathered for a Cultivate Michigan dry bean tour at the Frankenmuth Farmers Market.
News  |  July 25, 2017
Recent findings released by the Ecology Center, however, reveal that the dry powdered cheese mixes in those boxes have on average four times the amount of phthalates (thal-eights) than block cheese and other unprocessed cheeses.