There’s a LOT of advice on what makes a healthy plate, but one thing almost everyone agrees on is plant-power. It’s not just our health at stake (or at steak) … it’s also an equity and climate issue. Who knew so much went into our carrots and apples?

So to celebrate those apples, we mark the 15th annual Great Big Crunch event! On Thursday, March 9th at 1:00pm (or anytime during the month of March) take a synchronized bite into a crunchy veggie or fruit and share it with us! What a nice motivator to eat your greens (and reds, yellows, oranges, purples) … did we mention fresh produce is pretty colourful as well as loud?

It’s crunch time with #GreatBigCrunch – What YOU need to know

When? Thursday, March 9th, 2023 at 1:00pm EST – or anytime during the month of March!

What? Get together (live or virtually) with friends, family or colleagues and bring your favourite crunchy snack (apples, carrots celery, but no potato chips) and take a big synchronized bite to celebrate your crunch!

Why: Support healthy eating for Nutrition Month, by Dietitians of Canada and support a Canada-wide universal school food program. More food justice goodness from our friends at FoodShare Toronto

Share: Your crunch photos/videos (sounds high!) using #GreatBigCrunchUHN (if you are UHN staff) and we’ll retweet you, Or email us your crunch at

Not at UHN? Simply share using #GreatBigCrunch, and don’t forget to register so every crunch counts

Who & Where? The #GreatBigCrunch is a national movement where anyone can participate from workplaces, schools, outside or at home! That limits it to anyone and anywhere in Canada 🙂

Energy and Environment team showing their #GreatBigCrunchUHN

On the health equity front, fresh produce can be expensive and not every area has access to the best grocery stores nearby. That’s where you get the terms “Food desert”, which is way less fun than a food dessert. A newer term, “food swamp”, might be more accurate … it’s not that there isn’t any food (desert), it’s that the food choices nearby are complete junk (swamp). There, orange is not a fruit, it’s a dye colour in a sugary energy drink, and potatoes just come in chip form.

Being a sustainable health care blog and all, we can’t help but think about Climate Change when we eat. There’s a good reason for that, with our food choices making a big old splash on the Greenhouse Gas emissions front. Have a look at the graph below to compare beef vs peas or nuts. A plant-forward diet is pretty clearly gentler on the planet. If being a vegan is too much (mea culpa, I tried unsuccessfully), there’s a lot to be said for flexitarianism, saving meat for a treat, not every meal, everyday.

So for the kids, the planet, our farmers and our health, grab your loudest apple or carrot and enjoy your #GreatBigCrunch!

Dig (and crunch) Deeper:

If you want to learn more about The Great Big Crunch and the other remarkable work the Coalition for Healthy School Food does, visit Healthy School Food.

Gifts from our relations: Indigenous Original Food Guide

#GreatBigCrunch Activities Toolkit (great for kids, also good for adults)

Nourish kids now in budget 2023

Food Deserts and Food Swamps

Food GreenHouse Gases across the supply chain – our world in data