October is the month of food!
With international food day landing on the 16th, and Food Loss and Waste Reduction day (on September 29th, which is close enough), what better month is there to celebrate the strides that have been taken this year by BC’s Health Organizations in the area of food?!
The idea of food as medicine comes from the understanding that good nutrition makes our bodies run well and protects our overall health. This is doubly true for our patients in health care, who are, in one way or another, in need of healing when they come through our doors. Annie Lalande, fourth-year UBC general surgery resident, has been working with a team at Vancouver Coastal Health’s (VCH), Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), to study the ways that food can be used as therapeutic intervention. The team is looking at developing new menus to nourish and treat patients, and ways to share these lessons to other health care sites.
Almost half of patient bedside food is thrown away. Filling our landfills and wasting our millions of dollars. Dr Eileen Wong wanted to do something to change that at Providence’s Holy Family Hospital long-term care residents. Eileen found that much of the food waste was because residents ‘found the taste, temperature, or texture of the food unappealing.’ Meals were also served to close together, lunch following too soon after breakfast. The long-term care team, and volunteers, worked with Eileen on a Food Quality Improvement project in order to address these issues. There efforts have seen a 50% reduction in food waste.
“We need to ensure no one is left behind, and that everyone has dignified access to foods that are appropriate to their needs and choices,” says Anne Todd, Fraser Health’s Food Security Project Leader for Population Public Health (PPH). In order to help make this a reality Anne is focusing on two threats to food security: climate change and increasing inequality. Their work has supported 11 communities of Fraser Health, in creating or updating food-security plans.
Urban gardening is one way to have fresh produce literally at your doorstep, or patio. Located in Victoria, PHSA’s BC Cancer site is growing vegetables on their staff patio. The project was organized by Kimberly Kuik. Pharmacy Professional Practice Leader. Kimberly, and enthusiastic the BC Cancer site Staff worked together to build raised garden beds, plant seeds and care for their garden. Fresh produce is now on the menu as they plan “a salad day to distribute the abundance of lettuce that is ready.”
When: October 26, 2022, 12 – 1 p.m.
Come learn about ways to improve the food experience in our healthcare system, and how to make our food choices more sustainable!
Hope to see you there!