In collaboration with Équiterre, the CHU Sainte-Justine's (CHUSJ) food services department, Délipapilles, has launched a new project to include more local and organic food in the meals that it serves to the children, families, employees and visitors at the hospital.
Food: the very basis of life
A number of studies show that children and infants are especially vulnerable to chemical agents such as pesticides, which are widely used by the food industry. Serving organic food helps contribute to better health and a healthier environment.
With Équiterre’s support, Délipapilles teamed up with three local organic farms from Équiterre’s family farmer network this past spring. These farmers have been supplying Délipapilles with 17 varieties of organic vegetables since June.Ferme La Bourrasque Coop de solidarité Les Jardin du Pied du céleri Ferme de la berceuse
Benefits for the environment and local economy
Organic farming not only eliminates the harmful effects of synthetic pesticides on our food, but it also allows for a 45% reduction in fossil fuel consumption on the farm as compared with traditional agriculture.
What’s more, choosing local organic produce allows for a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, as transportation distances are much lower. And buying locally produced organic food helps stimulate the local economy.
The recent Politique bioalimentaire du Québec calls for increasing Quebecers’ access to healthy, local and environmentally responsible food and the continued growth of the organic sector.
Encouraging other public institutions to follow the lead
“The CHU Sainte-Justine food services department is a leader in the delivery of local organic food,” notes Colleen Thorpe, Équiterre’s Director of Educational Programs. “The hospital’s reputation has the potential to influence other public institutions – not just hospitals but schools and universities as well – to take up the challenge to change their menus. This in turn will encourage clients of these institutions to make healthy and responsible food choices in their day to day purchases.”
This project has been made possible by the support of the Ministère de l’Agriculture, de l’Alimentation et des Pêcheries du Québec, with funding from the Canada–Quebec Growing Forward 2 Agreement and the Fondation CHU Sainte-Justine.