Food can play a powerul role in promoting health, as well as building strong and diverse communities,protecting the environment and strengthening the economy. That’s why ood is such an eective vehicle toconnect people to one another, to their neighbourhoods and their city.I believe it is time to build on these connections and challenge ourselves to create a healthy and sustainableood system or all. I initiated the Toronto Food Strategy project to inspire discussion and action that willmove us toward this goal.“Food Connections” proposes a new vision or Toronto’s ood, one that unites health and city building.The report, which lays out six directions or ood system renewal, provides the basis or a broad community engagement process.Toronto Public Health’s 2007 report, “The State o Toronto’s Food”, showed that the ood we eat comes roma complex system o connected activities – production, processing, distribution, marketing, consumptionand disposal – rom “grow it to throw it”. It warned o intensiying pressures rom a range o ood-relatedproblems − hunger, obesity, chronic disease, disappearing armland, environmental pollution − andhighlighted the need or coordinated and strategic approaches.In 2008, the Toronto Board o Health endorsed the Food Strategy project, and a Steering Group wasconvened to guide the work. I’m grateul to the diverse group o community ood experts and senior City sta who serve on the Steering Group. Its mandate is to help articulate a bold ood vision or the city and begin toidentiy eective short and long term actions to implement it. I’m also thankul or the ongoing support andadvice o the Toronto Food Policy Council.Toronto already has many examples o ood system leadership through the eorts o community organizations, City divisions and agencies, the private sector, and academic institutions.
A Consultation Report
Dr. David McKeownMedical Ofcer o Health, City o Toronto