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 office.
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.