July 29 2011
Fields to Forks: Eating Healthy at Work
This week, Cerner hosted two farmer’s market events for
associates. At the events, called Fields to Forks, associates were able to purchase
locally sourced fresh produce and other items. Cerner associates Emily
Abernathy and Arielle Bogorad sat down for a quick Q&A to share
more information on the events.
Why did Cerner decide
to host a farmer’s market event?
EA: Fields to
Forks is a way to offer fresh, local, nutritious foods to our associates. It’s
a piece of a broader Cerner initiative to improve the health of our associates.
Looking at nutrition, we started by reexamining the offerings in our cafés,
catering and vending programs, then instituting color coded guidelines (red,
yellow, green) based on the healthiness of the food. Associates also have access to detailed
nutritional information both in the café as well as the online menu,
nutritional and recipe database.
AB: Our goal is to bring both awareness and
access of fresh food to our associates.
In addition to the Fields to Forks initiative, we have also launched
Fresh Food Fridays in our cafés this summer. We integrate fresh, locally sourced produce
and other food into our Friday menus, and don’t serve anything prepared in the
fryer. We have also brought fresh snack
food options, like Greek yogurt and hummus with carrots to our coffee shops
that are open all day long. We strive to
give associates access to an array of healthy food choices when they are in the
What were the events
like this week?
AB: We had tables
set up in our cafés where we displayed the produce. Associates were able try
free samples, and we had a chef doing cooking demonstrations with the produce
being sold. We also handed out recipe cards. Our plan is to continue to host
the markets on a bimonthly basis for the next few months. We’ll do it for as long as there is ample
supply from our local farms and support from our associates. We were very pleased with the turnout and
feedback we received from our associates.
What farms were
involved and what types of produce were available?
EA: We sourced
the food from Good Natured Family Farms.
Good Natured Family Farms is an alliance of 100 family farms, some third or
fourth generation farmers. These farms produce food with no pesticides, no
growth hormones and no sub-therapeutic antibiotics. Its food that is good for
us and good for the earth. And best of all it tastes good.
Twin County Family Farms in Rich Hill, MO and Amish Community
Families is Stanberry, MO, were two of the farms that harvested food
specifically for this event.
We offered bell peppers, cantaloupe, cucumbers, jalapenos,
peaches, red and white potatoes, watermelon, yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes
and corn. Peaches were by far the most popular item.
Tomatoes available for purchase at Fields to Forks.
A chef prepares grilled melon gazpacho samples.