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Healthy Land and Food

What is “healthy land” use in health care?

The topic area of healthy land refers to the perceived associate of green space and gardens with the improved general health of patients, residents and staff.

The lower mainland health authorities have the ability to provide a stronger and holistic health care by maintaining a certain degree of healthy land use in providing green space and gardens for patients, residents, and staff.  

What is “healthy food” in health care?

The topic area of healthy food refers to mitigating the negative link between unsustainable and unhealthy food systems with their impacts on human and environmental health.

The lower mainland health authorities have the ability to counter these trends by purchasing and serving more environmentally and socially friendly and nutritious foods.

Why is healthy land and food important in health care?

Healthy land use and food choices and disposal is beneficial to health care in the following ways:

  • Green spaces have a long lasting positive impact on mental health and well-being. Studies have indicated that green spaces and gardens have reduced stress and anxiety in patients, residents, and staff.
  • An increased preservation or creation of green space and gardens will create a cleaner environment as the vegetation and plants work to clean the air of carbon and other air borne pollutants.
  • The way food is produced, processed, packaged, and distributed has a significant impact on human and environmental health. Taking steps to mitigate the negative aspects involved with this process chain will increase the health enhancing nutritional attributes and human / environmental sustainability involved with food consumption.
  • Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other ailments have been perpetuated by the marketing and consumption of unhealthy food. Encouraging healthy food procurement, distribution, consumption, and disposal is a priority to improving human and environmental health for patients, residents, and staff.

Does the EES team have any strategic partnerships in achieving healthy land and food goals / targets?

The Lower Mainland Facilities Management (LMFM) has the primary responsibility of planning, constructing, and maintaining green spaces. To date, any related garden space has been leased out to a 3rd party to maintain or to an associated group of staff members willing to maintain the garden space.

Business Initiatives & Support Services (BISS) BISS is responsible for the provision of quality support services for care providers and patients.  The scope of these services includes Food Services, Housekeeping, and Waste Management. BISS is thus a key partner in establishing healthy food within the lower mainland health authorities.

> RELATED STORIES

 

Goal 
Our goal is to promote the connections between food systems, land use, and prevention-based health care.
Targets 

Healthy Food in Health Care

  1. Implement the Healthy Eating in Healthcare Guidelines in retail food services for Business Initiatives & Support Services (BISS) contracted sites by 2015.  
  2. Implement diversion of organics (food scraps) in all patient, residential and retail food service operations by 2015.
  3. Decrease food waste from meal trays in patient food services to 10% or less by 2020.  Report as a percentage for each Health Authority

Healthy Land Use in Health Care

  1. Create 15 community and / or patient run gardens, on health care property, by 2020. (baseline is 2010)
Priority actions 

Healthy land use & food through the onsite support of:

a.       Source Healthier Sustainable Food Options for Patients, Residents, and Staff

b.        Create Health Food Guidelines

c.       Compost Kitchen Organics

d.       Urban Agriculture / Therapeutic Gardens / Edible Landscaping

e.       Urban Apiculture (support the local ecosystem through a support of bee keeping)

Related Programs