Efforts to incorporate many of the fresh foods produced right here in the Northern California region into the menu for UC Davis Medical Center patients took a major step forward this week with the first Farm-to-Fork menu item delivered to patients on non-restricted diets.
“Good food is good medicine, and that is what we are trying to provide for our patients,” said UC Davis Health Executive Chef Santana Diaz.
The dinner item, a short-rib sandwich on a house-made bun with chimichurri sauce, is flavorful and nutritious, made with seasonal ingredients using a recipe developed in collaboration with health system nutritionists. It’s a dish that employees and visitors to the medical center may recognize, as it has been a favorite Pavilion café offering over the past five months.
With the Food and Nutrition Services team preparing some 18,000 meals a day, not including the 44 different diets that some patients require, Santana said that they’re taking baby steps, with the goal of offering a full complement of Farm-to-Fork fresh menu items.
“We started with this one option and will evolve to include more, from low-sodium, low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets to special meals for kidney patients,” Diaz said.
Offering Farm-to-Fork menu items for patients is a major milestone for UC Davis Health that makes Santana and his whole team smile.