Eecole Copen, Sustainable Food Programs Coordinator
Food & Nutrition Services, Mailcode L338
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd, Portland, OR 97239
OHSU has been dedicated to purchasing and selling foods grown in a sustainable food system for the past decade. Our Strategic Plan includes sustainability guidelines that help direct these purchases. Some of our greatest successes over the past decade have been the relationships we have developed with cattle and poultry producers. Carmen Ranch, run by Cory Carmen and her sister, is a ranch in Eastern Oregon, that is committed to raising their cows on pasture, without the use of antibiotics or hormones. Approximately 65% of our beef now comes from their land. Pacific Foods, owned and operated by Chuck Eggert, is a vertically integrated company that owns everything from the chicken farms, all within a 100 mile radius of their processing plant, to their slaughterhouse, to their processing & packaging facility. The chickens & turkey we purchase are raised organically. We started purchasing from them in 2015 and our volumes rise every month. We are currently up to approximately 3000 lbs of poultry meat and 800 lbs of chicken bones each month. We use bones from the Carmen Ranch cows and Pacific Foods chickens to make our own in-house broths for patients and retail foods.
We are also focused on developing programs here on campus that support a sustainable food system, including a farmers market that has been running for 10 years, a healthy convenience store that opened about 9 years ago and a garden that is finally taking off as of 2016. We purchase some food from the market for our cafes and all food grown on campus is used in the OHSU kitchen. The convenience store, called “It’s all Good”, is committed to purchasing locally produced, low sodium, non-GMO offerings with options of gluten & dairy free.
On the National forefront, we have been working with Health Care Without Harm for about 10 years on their healthy food campaign, which has also helped guide our purchasing and strategic planning. This has included participation in Healthier Hospitals Initiative and Partnership for a Healthier America.