TFPC Presentation at TPH Dietitian Day 2018

Every March, Toronto Public Health (TPH) celebrates Dietitians Day. On March 6th, Lori Stahlbrand (Health Policy Specialist responsible for the Toronto Food Policy Council) presented on ecological public health and sustainable food systems.

Also on the panel were Leticia Deawuo of Black Creek Community Farm (and Member of the Toronto Food Policy Council!) and Rowena Power, Director of Food Distribution, North York Harvest Food Bank.

This is an exciting time to be a dietitian because the field is expanding rapidly and we’re starting to consider nutrition as more than just ensuring strong bones and healthy babies.

At TPH, we know that food access is a major issue. People are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases and get inadequate nutrients if they don’t have adequate income.

Food is a lever that allows us to move on many compounding issues essential to health and well-being, such as ensuring healthy and biodiverse agro-ecosystems, decreasing loneliness, supporting interculturalism (which extends beyond tolerance and acceptance towards the promotion of a welcoming, sharing environment among different cultural groups), and providing access to safe and dignified employment.

According to food policy expert, Tim Lang from City University London, public health thinking needs an overhaul – to evolve into what he calls “ecological public health”. This is an approach that embraces sustainable food systems and recognizes food at the centre of its mandate.

Together with nutritionist Pamela Mason, Lang wrote a book called Sustainable Diets, wherein they argue that a sustainable diet is one that provides people with the nutrients they need while protecting environmental infrastructure (i.e. soil, climate, biodiversity) and preventing socio-economic diversions (i.e. from inequalities, bad governance, poor wages or education, etc.).

What can you do?

  • Join us at the Toronto Food Policy Council as supporting sustainable food systems in its broadest sense is our mandate. 
  • We have monthly meetings (alternating between formal and informal) the second Wednesday of each month from 2-5pm. Our next meeting is April 11th, 2018. 
  • Like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter (@TOFoodPolicy) to stay connected on latest updates, events, opportunities, blogs, etc.