Ottawa Hospital and the Experimental Farm: Linking healthy food and health outcomes in the Nation's Capital

Ottawa Hospital and the Experimental Farm: Linking healthy food and health outcomes in the Nation's Capital
Posted on January 5, 2015 | Ottawa Food Policy Council | Written on December 15, 2014
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Author's Note:

Author's Note:

The Ottawa Food Policy Council takes a broad approach to examining, proposing and supporting policies that promote a sustainable, healthy and equitable food system in Ottawa. This letter is in response to the concern of losing agricultural land within the urban boundary and the necessity of linking healthy food and health outcomes.

Dr. Jack Kitts, CEO Ottawa Hospital
Mr. Jamie McCracken, Chair of The Ottawa Hospital Board of Governors
Mr. Mark Kristmanson, CEO of the National Capital Commission
Mr. Paul Dewar, MP Ottawa Centre
Mr. Yasir Naqvi MPP Ottawa Centre

December 15, 2014

Dear Sirs,

Re: the recent decision to grant 60 acres of federal property currently committed to agricultural research to the Ottawa Hospital to build a state-of the art health care, research and teaching facility.

The Ottawa Food Policy Council (OFPC) understands that farmland preservation is a key issue for all municipalities in Canada. We would like more information on why this facility requires 60 acres. The only way to justify this loss is to capitalize on this unique opportunity to show leadership in demonstrating the intrinsic relationship between our food and health systems. The opportunities include joint research programs into how the healthy food supports health outcomes and policies to enable this, and demonstrating the role of food in health and healing by providing a garden, greenhouse and expanded in-house kitchen facilities in the plans to ensure fresh, healthy and culturally appropriate food to patients and staff.

The Ottawa Food Policy Council, established in 2012, is comprised of individuals representing all aspects of the food system to enable a broader and more coherent discussion and elaboration of policies related to food. As key stakeholders in this project we ask to be actively engaged, and propose a meeting with the new Civic Campus planning group to discuss how we can support the consultation and planning process.

It has been argued that we have a food and agricultural system that does not consider health, and a hospital system that does not prioritize healthy food. Let’s change that. We look forward to hearing from you in the near future. 

Sincerely,

 

Sarah Rice, Acting Chair
Ottawa Food Policy Council

 

c.c.:    Central Experimental Farm Advisory Council 
           Champlain Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Network (Dr. Andrew Pipe)
           Unpublished Ottawa

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The Ottawa Food Policy Council is comprised of individuals representing all aspects of the food system to enable a broader and more coherent discussion and elaboration of policies related to food.

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