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Press Release: Bill Requiring Plant-Based Food Options in Hospitals Passes Legislature

ALBANY, NY, June 4 – Senator Brad Hoylman (D/WF-Manhattan) and Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried’s bill to require plant-based food options in hospitals ( S1471A/A4072 ) passed through both houses of the State legislature yesterday.

The bill, introduced in partnership with Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, would require hospitals to offer a plant-based food option as an alternative to every meal or snack offered to a patient, at no additional cost

Senator Hoylman said: “As Hippocrates once said, ‘Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.’ Studies repeatedly show that transitioning to a more plant-based diet alleviates the side effects associated with chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. The passage of this legislation will give more New Yorkers access to the tools they need to live healthier and eat according to their diets. I’m grateful for the support of Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, along with my co-sponsor Assembly Member Gottfried and my colleagues in the Senate. Brooklyn-based herbivores are especially lucky to have a champion in Borough President Eric Adams, who has sung the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet for years.”  

Assembly Health Committee Chair Gottfried said: The more that New Yorkers embrace healthier eating choices by consuming plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, the healthier we’ll be. When we’re in a health care facility and have less control over what we eat, it is even more important that nutritious, plant-based foods are among our options, especially as the connection between diet and chronic health conditions becomes clearer.”  

Brooklyn Borough President Adams said: “Preventive health care has taken a meaningful step forward with the passage of legislation requiring hospitals across our state to offer plant-based food options for every meal and snack. When patients are in the care of medical professionals, everything should be oriented toward helping them heal and live healthier lives. The science is crystal clear on the power of a whole-food, plant-based diet to reversing chronic diseases. That science will now be practiced through our hospital menus. I thank State Senator Hoylman and Assembly Member Gottfried for championing this bill, I applaud State Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Heastie for advancing it through both sides of the Legislature, and I ask Governor Cuomo to sign it into law.”