You’ve probably always been told to “eat your vegetables!” As we age, a balanced diet is more important than ever. In honor of American Heart Month and National Nutrition Month in March, we wanted to bring to light the great impact healthy eating bring to our residents. To name a few, the benefits of farm-to-table dining include reducing blood pressure, lowering risk of heart disease, and promoting higher brain activity.
Recognizing this importance, Commonwealth Senior Living launched its Farm-to-Table dining program in 2015 in partnership with Produce Source Partners. This brought fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables to all of our communities. In 2016, the program was expanded with Today from the Bay, in partnership with Sam Rust Seafood, introducing seasonal seafood from the Chesapeake Bay. The next step in bringing fresh produce to our residents meant bringing the farming inside. Babylon Micro-Farms was introduced in 2019, one of the first of its kind in the senior living industry, and we are proud to be able to integrate their fresh, locally-sourced vegetables into our residents’ dining. In 2020 alone, our communities’ Micro-Farms grew over 24 thousand plants, saved over 325 gallons of water, avoided over 43 million miles of food transportation, and reduced food waste by almost 400 pounds. This award-winning partnership in hydroponic farming provides the freshest produce available grown inside our dining rooms and is harvested by our own residents.
For those seniors still living at home, we wanted to give you a few tips on making healthy choices easier:
- Cook at home more often (Try this recipe for a warm, cozy meal for this cold weather)
- Eat as seasonally as you can. Unfortunately, not everywhere has a vast selection of fruits and vegetables year round, but eating seasonally can help reduce the transportation time on the produce, resulting in a fresher product for you to eat.
- Eat local! We consider local produce to be harvested within the same state. Again, it’s all about getting fresher product. Eating local also supports local farmers, puts money back into your local economy, and reduces the amount of fossil fuels used to transport the produce.
It is a privilege for our communities to continue to implement these extraordinary dining programs and be able to improve the lives of seniors in this additional way. Contact a community near you to learn about what’s next up on our menu!