Food in Hospitals – Bon Appétit

There was a lot of food for thought in the HealthAchieve November 6th session:  Bon Appétit – Sustainable Food in the Healthcare Environment. Missed it? Fear not, we’ve got the goods below, starting with a biggie:

Climate Change Resiliency


click the pic to see the presentation

With rising extreme weather events associated with climate change, we see a “disruption of operations and the supply chain”. Food may not reach the hospital and may not be able to be prepared, stored or served safely it to patients. Stewart Dankner and Ed Rubinstein of University Health Network talked about how hospitals can assess and prepare for climate-related emergencies and any emergencies for that matter. With some planning and partnering, you can secure food and water best practices. Need help starting? Look to the resources at the Canadian Coalition for Green Healthcare.

Does Your Food Have a Drug Problem? Antibiotics Stewardship


click the pic to see the presentation

Jennifer Reynolds of Food Secure Canada spoke about how to champion antibiotic stewardship (for hospitals or at home) by buying meat raised without antibiotics. We’ve heard the call in medicine to reduce unnecessary antibiotics prescribed to people, but there is an even bigger problem on our plates (for omnivores, at least). “Approximately 80% of antimicrobial drugs sold in Canada are for use with animals” (Health Canada). The stakes (steaks?) are high, as we could end up in a world where antibiotics don’t work anymore.  It is far less expensive to buy better (and less) meat than to treat antimicrobial resistant infections. This is especially timely during “World Antibiotics Awareness Week” (Nov 13-19).

Project SOIL: Gardens as Health Care at Ontario Institutions

Irena Knezevic of Carleton University talked about one of my favorite subject … gardens in health care. They benefit far beyond the aesthetic for patient therapy, wellness and staff satisfaction. Stay tuned for her presentation to be made available to the public.

You Are What You Eat: Food as Medicine, Culture, and Health


click the pic to see the presentation

Hayley Lapalme of Nourish spoke about the links between patient health and food that “recognizes the cultural dimensions of health and healing”. Culturally appropriate food offerings can also help with reconciliation for Canada’s indigenous population. Hospitals are perfectly positioned to build a resilient regional food system. “Food in care is a low cost, high value intervention to create a better patient experience” since a little extra investment would go a long way towards increased patient satisfaction.

As session chair, HealthAchieve was a fantastic experience. I really enjoyed learning from my colleagues in this session and beyond. For more 2017 HealthAchieve speaker presentations, see here. Enjoy!


And the Inter-Hospital Challenge winner is???



Waste Reduction Week (WRW) … a Canada-wide event reminding us to practice them there 3R’s. For the second year running, we Continue reading

Bon Appétit at HealthAchieve


Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.


There’s a reason food, healthcare, wellness and our environment are so closely linked. This year’s HealthAchieve, the top healthcare convention in Ontario, digs into this tasty subject with a special session:

Bon Appétit – Sustainable Food in the Health Care Environment

Monday, November 6th, 2017
1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
Room 717AB, MTCC, South Building

I have the honour of facilitating this session and am extremely keen to hear from our panelists. This interactive session looks at food from four perspectives (or four courses):

  • Climate Change Resiliency
  • Does Your Food Have a Drug Problem?: Antibiotics Stewardship
  • Project SOIL: Gardens as Health Care at Ontario Institutions
    • Irena Knezevic of Carleton University
  • You Are What You Eat: Food as Medicine, Culture, and Health

So yes, expect lots and lots of food for thought. Stay tuned for next week’s story where we share what we learned. Better yet, see you at HealthAchieve!


The Sixth Sensor – I See Live People!

Looks like I might be starting a trend referencing old 90’s movies on the Talkin’ Trash blog. This time, with Halloween fast approaching, we are taking a spookier turn as we look at the recent stairwell lighting project at TRI University Centre.

6th sense quote

If you want to hear something really scary, Continue reading

Quick Quiz for Inter-Hospital Challenge


Play the 2 minute quiz and help your site win the challenge!

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Do you need a bag with that? – Talkin’ Trash, October 2017

UHN produces a lot of waste – over 45,000 pounds a day. Recycling and waste reduction are good for the environment, good for our health and save UHN money, so it’s worth it to get comfortable with your organization’s recycling, composting & waste reduction programs and, even better, take our Waste Reduction Week Interhospital Challenge.

A Can In the Bluebox Is Worth Two…

The thing about clichés is that we’ve used them so often that they’ve lost their meaning. Not mention that clichés often contradict each other…like “the early bird gets the worm” and “good things come to those who wait”,  and sometimes they can mask serious issues…sure, the early bird gets the worm is meant to be a good thing…unless you’re the worm.  And don’t get me started about “out of sight, out of mind”.

Too late…you got me started. But first…a bit of animal recycling (Editors note: in the spirit of good ol’ behind covering, please note that no animals were recycled during production of this newsletter. Instead, their images are being used to demonstrate equivalent weights because what the heck does a tonne of garbage look like anyway?).


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How do you measure up?

The online world is chock full of quizzes to figure out things like which Game of Thrones character you are or what your favorite colour says about you. These are fun, but do they really tell us anything (other than Brienne of Tarth, and that turquoise = balance & creativity)? How about a quiz with a bigger picture in mind?


The King/Queen of all Reusable Mugs! The Silver Stein of Sustainability! The Interhospital Winners trophy.

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