A plate of baked pickerel with potatoes, vegetables and a slice of bannock is one of the special meals given to patients at Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre every Thursday. It's part of the Miichim traditional food program co-ordinated by Kathy Loon. Read more here.
The pilot program at Bernice's site is expanding to the entire facility after chef Simon Wiseman successfully tested homemade cafeteria meals with patients dealing with eating disorders. Read coverage here.
On October 4th, CHU Sainte-Justine and Équiterre celebrated local and organic food through a Harvest Festival hosted in the hospital lobby at CHU Sainte-Justine. The event included special meals, culinary demos and other activities. More details here.
The local and organic room service initiative by Josee and her team was featured in a television segment on Radio-Canada. Watch here.
Josée and her team are buying food from a growing number of organic producers in Québec. Since June, they're now purchasing between $500-$1,000 each week from three organic farms. Read more from two media outlets who covered the story this week, here and here.
Josée et sont équipe viennent de réaliser avec succès un projet-pilote d’achat de légumes biologiques et locaux. Trois fermes maraîchères québécoises ont vendu depuis juin entre 500 $ et 1 000 $ de légumes par semaine au centre pédiatrique. Lisez plus dans les deux articles dans La Terre et Le Devoir.
For Canadian Malnutrition Week, Stephanie and her team organized a food tasting challenge where over 500 samples of ten different patient meal items were served to staff and visitors. 95% of people surveyed agreed that hospital food was better than they thought. Read update here.
In July we shared news from Michelle about her team launching the room service project at Convenant Health. A month after implementing the new model, Michelle and her team surveyed the patients and conducted a waste audit to report on the improvements. You can read the update here.
On Wednesday, August 29, Marianne and other Halton Healthcare Food Services staff spent the morning in the Gordon Food Service test kitchen, developing (and tasting) new recipe ideas made with fresh locally-sourced ingredients in an effort to craft tasty and nutritious meal for patients. View the slideshow with highlights from the day here.
For the past year the Patient Experience team has been researching and prototyping the tools for measuring patient food experience, and developing the resources for health care institutions to curate the best practices and research. They have rebranded the project as The Good Food Project in recognition of their shared goal of providing patients with wholesome, fresh and tasty food. Moving into their pilot phase, they are now recruiting sites and calling on Nourish Innovators and colleagues to test the tool for measuring patient food experience at their facilities. You can learn more on their website here.
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!
Approximately four years ago, we initiated a relationship with the City of Greater Sudbury to explore the possibility of composting the food waste our site was producing. Through our efforts to source increasingly local and delicious food (we currently source 25% of our food from Ontario producers and vendors) we also hope to decrease waste generated in our Food Service areas.
I am happy to say as of August 1, 2018 we have started to collect our organic waste in patient food services, as well as our retail food services, including Tim Hortons and the cafeteria!
These items are being picked up by the City to be turned into compost that can be used on gardens throughout the city as well as being sold to the general public. It took a while to sort out, but through the persistence of our Management team, our vision and patience have paid off. The City is finally ready to accept our organic waste - and staff in all participating areas are excited and on board! This is an exciting step in helping reduce our environmental impact on our city.
The garden is in full swing and our weekly market has been very successful. We have such an abundance of lettuces, cucumbers, onions, and herbs that the kitchen can’t keep up.
I must share a conversation that I had with a visiting patient yesterday, it was like music to my ears.
A gentleman was at HGMH to see his family doctor. Upon exiting the building he approached our market garden that is set up every Thursday. He began to explain the near-death experiences he's had over the last few years on separate occasions. He was convinced that giving up smoking and drinking were the ticket to better health.
His doctor recommended healthier eating and he took her recommendation to heart only minutes after his appointment. He and his wife purchased a multitude of vegetables; he was making a change to his eating habits because, in his words “clearly the food I eat is connected to my health”.
Here’s a quick update from our team:
We are currently reviewing the 30 food services RFPs from public buyers in multiple jurisdictions; 10+ policies specific to food/catering; 30 reports/academic articles to identify which are most relevant.
Pulling out language and “low-hanging fruit” from existing RFPs, eventually trying to push the envelope on language available for writing more values-drivin RFPs.
Scanning for and pulling out measurement methods or tools for evaluating social and environmental criteria in food RFPs.
We welcome any resources related to evaluating sustainability criteria in food and catering RFPs. We keep coming back to the reality that “If we can’t evaluate the sustainability language, it’s useless!”
We plan to beta-test the two RFP tools we create this Fall, one for self-operated sites and one for sites who outsource food services. Be in touch with us if you are interested in reviewing and testing these tools, by contacting: Maija Fiorante, firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I get goosebumps when we talk about this project, we need it so badly and I am so glad this is rolling!” says co-lead Donna Koenig.
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.