Beatrice Dagenais, the Masters Student who is working with the Sustainable Menus collaborative project, presented her research project at the Transforming Food Systems for the Health of People and the Planet Symposium at the University of Montreal on August 22. She's done two test interviews and has the next ones scheduled. Apart from the fact that a couple of facilities have turned down her interview requests because she is not associated to their researchers, things are progressing very well!
The sustainable menus team has been working hard to make the adoption of sustainable practice accessible to the food service industry in healthcare facilities.
Drafting of the Sustainable Menu Guide is well underway. Using the most current research across the agriculture, health, and social sciences, each chapter of the guide assesses and ranks food in terms of sustainability. The information is presented in a manner most useful to those in the food service industry, with tools to assess current menu sustainability and tips to integrate sustainable ingredients into practice. Thus far, proteins and starches have been completed, while vegetables, desserts, and beverages are underway. The guide connects with the work of other collaborative projects, such as values-based procurement and indigenous foodways. Research is being supported by Allison Gacad, a Loran Scholar at the University of British Columbia.
In addition, the team is working with Béatrice Dagenais, Master’s student, and Geneviève Mercille, assistant professor, at Université de Montreal. Their research, carried out in partnership with Nourish, is examining the feasibility of sustainable menu practices in healthcare food services. Through qualitative research with food service managers in Quebec healthcare facilities, this project will allow for a better understanding of different perceptions of sustainable menu practices in various contexts.