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Cooking Up Change

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The Forensic Psychiatric Hospital kitchen goes paperless

Tasty and convenient, the cookie is a classic treat—both within hospitals across North America and beyond. In fact, according to consumer research, Canadians consume over 303 million cookies every year.

Food Manager José Morais and the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital culinary team were no strangers to massive cookie demands. Through baking alone, the kitchen he manages consumed 1,000 paper sheet liners every 6 weeks. On top of the significant paper packaging waste these liners generated, there is also a hefty price tag. A case of pan liners cost the kitchen $260.

When the Food and Nutrition Services team tallied these environmental and monetary costs up, the choice to reduce the amount of paper used while cooking seemed obvious. The kitchen was committed and in November 2021, decided to find a way to reduce or eliminate the use of paper liners. The kitchens were so committed, they decided to take a hard stance and, starting in May 2021, immediately stopped ordering cookie sheet liners.

Instead of paper, the kitchen has adopted reusable alternatives. They use silicone mats to line baking sheets instead of paper and more recently, muffins are cooked directly into greased muffin tins, eliminating the need for muffin liners. The culinary team is now on track to save approximately $3,000 annually in baking supplies and prevent approximately 20kg of waste from going into the landfill. And, as an added bonus, there is now a reduced risk of contamination from paper breaking and getting into the food.

While these results may seem modest, José hopes that more kitchens adopt these sustainable cooking practices.

If every hospital could do this, it would be significant,”


He’s optimistic for a future where hospitals across North America can take a significant bite out of environmental waste—a delicious outcome for both patients and the planet.