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Equipping future generations to nourish tomorrow

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Given the speed at which our farmland is being degraded and our food autonomy is diminishing, we will need to make major changes in the way we farm and in the way we eat. The good news is that this transition is already underway in Quebec.

What do we need to do?

Équiterre has been working on it. For 20 years now, we have been actively mobilizing institutions all across Quebec to adopt best practices for healthy, local and environmentally responsible food procurement. Why put all this effort into institutions? Because hospitals, daycares and schools represent millions of meals every year! Imagine the benefits if all these institutions sourced their food locally, increasing the demand from institutions for sustainable food. That’s what Commun’assiette is working to do. Initiated by Équiterre, Commun’assiette is a community of practice on sustainable food for key actors in Quebec institutions. Its members spent $27 million on local products last year.

Now imagine if Quebec had a program that provided healthy, sustainable meals to all children in the province, without discrimination and regardless of their socio-economic status. That’s exactly what Équiterre and its partners are working on: a Programme d’alimentation scolaire universel au Québec [universal school food program in Quebec].

Did you know?

  • Canada is the only G7 country, and one of the only OECD countries, that has yet to adopt a national school nutrition program.

  • More than 200,000 children in the Québec public school are experiencing food insecurity (one out of every five children).

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Acting now to be able to feed tomorrow

If we want to be able to feed Quebec by 2050, we need to ensure that our food supply is in line with the principles of the ecological transition. What better way to do that than with a universal school food program, which could also educate children about these principles?This is an opportunity to introduce environmentally responsible food practices in our schools. It could also contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, if meals are made with more local (and if possible organic) food, and with greater emphasis on plant-based proteins. In short, this is an opportunity to improve the long-term health of Quebecers. We must work to guarantee quality food to upcoming and future generations, for their health and for the health of the planet.

🌎 Rethinking food for planetary health

The concept of eating with planetary health in mind invites us to rethink food, from field to plate. We must consider our food consumption as a part of a whole, taking into account its impacts on our health, our environment and our economy.

Changing habits isn't easy, but necessary. Making sure to feed and educate our children on the issue from an early age is an important step in the right direction.

There are solutions to eat more sustainably