Coopérative Boréal has partnered with Carrefour francophone's day care program to provide children with “locavore” meals, or those that include local ingredients.
Coopérative Boréal runs services such as the cafeteria at Collège Boréal. Local products have been part of the food it provides for some time, according to a press release.
“The quality of our food, the environment and sustainable development are fundamental values for our co-operative and its members, and we are proud to share these values by providing meals for the children who attend Carrefour francophone’s child care services,” Lyne Mallette, executive director of Coopérative Boréal, said in the press release.
In 2009, Carrefour francophone adopted a “green shift” policy that identifies sustainable development and healthy foods as central elements of a new environmental policy.
Stéphane Gauthier, cultural and executive director of Carrefour francophone, underlines its importance.
“Through this partnership, we ensure that our child care services feed children healthy food, we support the local economy and its sustainability and we offer superior quality day care to parents.”
Carrefour francophone's child care services are present in four schools within the Rainbow School Board and seven schools within the french public school board, le Conseil scolaire public du Grand Nord de l’Ontario.
The introduction of new locavore menus in the day care centre will be supported by a team of researchers from Laurentian University’s Groupe de recherche sur la santé des Franco-Ontariens du Nord (GR-SAFON).
Sociologist Monique Benoit is the director of this project funded by the Consortium national de Formation en santé CNFS-National.
“Helping the child care services to use their own menus to promote local and organic foods and concepts such as healthy nutrition and food safety is a very stimulating project for our team,” Benoit said.
“We are creating educational materials, games and documents that will help child care educators to make children aware of the importance of good nutrition and quality food at an early age.”
Favoring locally-sourced food helps to ensure freshness, as well as food safety due to better traceability, the press release said.
Locally-sourced food means less transportation, which can reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions. Smaller local farms also tend to diversify their production, which enhances biodiversity, and many of them limit the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, growth hormones and antibiotics, according to the press release.
This initiative also promotes regional economic and social development. Buying locally helps local farmers and the local food industry and supports economic diversification and local jobs, the press release said.
-Posted by Heidi Ulrichsen