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Following our seed call round in 2022, around the theme of Circular Safe Hospitals (CSH), several promising projects have started. One of these studies is titled ‘Diets in Dutch hospitals: setting the scene for healthy, planet-proof, affordable, and circular diets’ and is being conducted by researchers from Wageningen University & Research, Utrecht University and University Medical Center Utrecht in collaboration with three hospitals and the Alliantie Voeding in de Zorg.

The latter recently published an interview [in dutch] with researchers involved, of which we give you a quick overview.

A sustainable healthcare sector

The Dutch healthcare sector contributes about 8% of total greenhouse gas emissions and is striving to become more sustainable, also within their nutrition system.

Therefore, the goal of the study is to make the hospital food system more sustainable. At the same time, the researchers are also trying to look at ways to make hospital food healthier. The research focuses on matching supply and demand, improved waste recycling and assesses the potential for circular, healthy and sustainable diets.

Healthy and sustainable menus

Sander Biesbroek (WUR), one of the researchers involved, is keen to be involved: ‘I think we can make a big push to make healthcare food systems more circular and simultaneously healthier, especially through a focus on plant-based protein consumption.’.

Gerda Pot, programme coordinator Alliantie Voeding in de Zorg says: ‘Generally speaking, we know that hospitals want to comply with the Richtlijnen Goede Voeding, where they also work towards a more plant-based menu’. Sander adds: ‘We just don’t know enough yet about whether they are also focusing on plant-based protein intake with a view to sustainability.’

Besides the healthy, sustainable menus, opportunities and barriers around legislation and cooperation in the chain are also being identified. This will create a complete (pre)study over the course of 12 months, focusing in part on future (inter)national subsidies.

Read the complete interview on the Alliantie Voeding in de Zorg website.

Involved researchers and partners

Involved EWUU researchers:

  • Dr. Sander Biesbroek, WUR
  • Prof. Dr. Marianne Geleijnse, WUR
  • Dr. Brian Dermody, UU
  • Prof. Dr. Ir. Yvonne van der Schouw, UMCU
  • MSc. Annemieke Kok, UMCU

External partners:

  • Alliantie Voeding in de Zorg
  • Meander Medisch Centrum
  • Ziekenhuis Gelderse Vallei