Healthy Food in Health Care: A Pledge for Fresh, Local, Sustainable Food

Created in collaboration with Health Care Without Harm as part of their Healthy Food in Health Care Initiative, and The Canadian Coalition for Green Health Care, the Healthy Food in Health Care Pledge is a framework that outlines steps to be taken by the health care industry to improve the health of patients, communities and the environment.

By taking the pledge, health care providers across Canada are agreeing to:

Increase their offering of fruit and vegetables, nutritionally dense and minimally processed, unrefined foods and reduce unhealthy (trans and saturated) fats and sweetened foods.

Implement a program to identify and adopt sustainable food procurement. Begin where fewer barriers exist and immediate steps can be taken, such as the adoption of fair trade coffee, or selections of organic and/or local fresh produce in the cafeteria or for patients.

Work with local farmers, community organizations and food suppliers to increase the availability of fresh, locally-produced food.

Encourage vendors and/or food management companies to supply them with food that is produced in systems that, among other attributes, eliminate the use of toxic pesticides, prohibit the use of hormones and non-therapeutic antibiotics, support farmer and farm worker health and welfare, and use ecologically protective and restorative agriculture.

Communicate to their Group Purchasing Organizations their interest in foods whose source and production practices (i.e. protect biodiversity, antibiotic and hormone use, local, pesticide use, etc) are identified, so that they may have informed consent and choice about the foods they purchase.

Develop a program to promote and source from producers and processors which uphold the dignity of family, farmers, workers and their communities and
support sustainable and humane agriculture systems.

Educate and communicate within their system and with their patients and community about their nutritious, socially just and ecologically sustainable healthy food practices and procedures.

Minimize and beneficially reuse food waste and support the use of food packaging and products that are ecologically protective.

Complete an annual survey on Pledge implementation.

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