John Stoddard, M.S.

John Stoddard, MS. is the National Project Manager for Health Care Without Harm’s Healthy Food in Health Care program. He leads the organization’s work with the health care sector on the intersection between food and climate. John coordinates efforts to reduce meat purchasing and to implement plant-forward menus in health care through the Cool Food Pledge, and works to promote regenerative agriculture as a climate solution. Prior to this role, John served as a New England Coordinator working with health care facilities in New England to facilitate local and sustainable food procurement. John began his career in the waste reduction field, working with institutions and municipalities to decrease their landfill bound waste. He has experience as an independent sustainability consultant to Boston restaurants, and is a founder of Higher Ground Farm, a Boston-based urban agriculture company that grows food on rooftops and other urban spaces. He earned his Master of Science from Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition specializing in the Agriculture, Food, and Environment program.


Leveraging the Power of the Health Care Sector--An Innovative Driver Addressing Climate Change and Community Resilience through Environmental Nutrition
Environmental nutrition means that healthy food cannot be defined by nutritional quality alone. It is the end result of a food system that conserves and renews natural resources, advances social justice and animal welfare, builds community wealth, and fulfills the food and nutrition needs of all eaters now and into the future.--Health Care Without Harm

Welcome Back!

We're talking about catalyzing a farm to food system vision for regenerating community health, wealth, resilience and well-being. 

This segment of the Summit focuses on approaches to bring healthier food into local food systems.

In this interview, I am talking with John Stoddard, at Health Care Without Harm's Healthy Food in Healthcare program. John and I talk about how the farming and food system can be a force for the long-term health and wealth of our communities--from the power of restoring living functioning soil that sequesters carbon to ensuring the long-term resiliency of communities to produce healthy food into the future. John's vision is a food system comprised of regional food systems offering equal access to food that gives communities control of their food security. Through Health Care Without Harm, John is bringing his vision to life. 

Health Care Without Harm believes that healthy food cannot be defined by quality alone. It is the end result of a food system that conserves and renews natural resources, advances social justice and animal welfare, builds community wealth, and fulfills the food and nutrition needs of all eaters now and into the future. 

John talks about the power of the healthcare sector--18% of the U.S. economy--to lead the way toward innovating a healthier food system for all and how this inspires his work with health system innovators across the nation. Hospitals and other community anchor institutions are rooted in the community and can have a positive influence to promote community health. Health Care Without Harm works with hospitals and healthcare institutions to align their interests with food system issues by making investments in local food systems. Working with hospitals, Health Care Without Harm innovates strategies to help hospitals both reduce overall green house gas emissions and sequester carbon through their food supply chain. Bringing regeneratively grown foods, which sequester carbon in soils, into hospital food service is the most recent of these innovative approaches. And John points to the Good Food Purchasing Policy, recently adopted by Los Angeles, Boston and now Chicago, to harness the power of municipal procurement and inspire other anchor institutions like hospitals to create a transparent and equitable food system, which prioritizes the health and well-being of people, animals, and the environment. 

John shares the Delivering Community Benefit: Healthy Food Playbook, a toolkit that communities can use with healthcare leaders to identify opportunities for healthcare partnerships to improve local food systems.


John believes people are ready for a more diverse and interesting diet with an emphasis on deliciousness. He appluds healthcare institutions big and small that are paving the way in their communities for a plant forward, healthier, less resource intensive diet that is better for people and the planet.

Please enjoy my conversation with John to learn how we can catalyze and support a regenerative farming and food system that works for everyone.

Don't forget, I’ve created a special Our Food Is Our Future Facebook Group where you can join the conversation and share your reflections, questions and ideas about creating a healthier farming and food system.

Here's to a healthier farming and food system for us all,

Food Farm Health Lab

Food Farm Health Lab builds on the Social Laboratory Movement, bringing together diverse stakeholders to explore, develop, and adapt regenerative farming and food system solutions that can be prototyped, modeled, and scaled in local communities for greater health, wealth, resilience and well-being.

©Basil's Harvest, 2020

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