Something good is happening. It’s happening slowly, but it is happening nonetheless. People – institutions even—are beginning to see that having accessible healthy food is a necessity, something worth fighting for, and do-able.

In the US, the Huntington, West Virginia school made famous by chef Jamie Oliver’s tough love reality TV show “Food Revolution,” in which Oliver lambastes school directors for the poor quality food served to students, has now overhauled its food services to provide local, fresh, made-from scratch meals. And they achieved this in only two years. Today, the school is pretty much a model for what can be done.

And while hard-core foodies of various stripes may look down their noses at popular, for-the-masses TV shows like Food Revolution, the movement seems to be catching.

Here in Canada, with the new school year just started, schools throughout Ontario have implemented widespread improvements to the food available in cafeterias and in vending machines to help combat childhood obesity. Gone are the French fries, candy bars and colas. Say hello to baked potato wedges, thin crust multi-grain lo-so pizza, and juice.

While I think cafeterias could go farther in their step towards healthier meals, this is undeniably a step in the right direction.

Even hospitals are jumping in –- that last bastion of inedible food. In Scarborough, Ontario, a hospital has undertaken a one-year experiment to improve its food services and provide fresh, local food and scratch cooking to its patients.

Get the picture?

Even the higher ups, those who may arguably gain in the short term from lowering standards and cutting corners,  recognize the value of food and the connection between food and health.

Times are changing. Food is becoming a mainstream issue. In the upcoming provincial elections happening throughout Canada, I encourage voters to make food an election issue.

In Ontario, visit Sustain Ontario to learn more about their Vote ON Food campaign.

In other happy food news:

If you’re in Toronto this weekend, it’s the 27th Annual Vegetarian Food Festival. Free event!

Where: 235 Queens Quay West

When: Friday 4 pm – 9 pm

Saturday 12 pm – 9 pm

Sunday 12 pm – 7 pm