GSA, HHS to green concessions in fed buildings

Thursday - 3/24/2011, 5:16pm EDT

John Buckner
Federal News Radio

The General Services Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday they plan to provide healthier food and sustainability options for feds in the workplace.

The guidelines developed by the two agencies reflect the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and are not aimed at limiting food choices for feds but rather makes eating healthy more accessible and affordable.

The healthy food options are:

  • Seasonal vegetable and fruits
  • Whole grain options
  • Foods with less sodium
  • Vegetarian entrees
  • Lean meat entrees
  • Low-fat milk, yogurt and cottage cheese
  • High fiber, low sugar cereals
  • 100 percent fruit juice
  • Freely available drinking water
  • Foods with less sodium
  • Foods free of synthetic sources of trans fats

Sustainability also is part of the new concessions options available to feds. The changes are:

  • Offering incentives for using reusable beverage containers
  • Using compostable bio-based trays, flatware, plates and bowls
  • Using green cleaning and pest control practices.
  • Offering food that is organically, locally or sustainably grown and labeled
  • Offering seafood identified as "Best Choices" or "Good Alternatives" on the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch List or certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (or equivalent program).

GSA plans to implement the new guidelines as vendor contracts expire as an incentive to renew their contracts.

Last year, GSA introduced new wellness measures at the State Department, limiting foods containing trans-fats and increasing the availability of fruit for employees. GSA announced their plans for sustainability in 2010 which also includes greening all aspects of their buildings as well as a focus on electric vehicles.

John Buckner is an intern with Federal News Radio.

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