ONTARIO: One of the largest Gurdwaras in Canada is to become the first place of worship to implement a menu labelling initiative to support congregants in making informed choices when partaking in communal meals.
Ontario Khalsa Darbar attracts a congregation from across the Greater Toronto Area who regularly partake in the Sikh practice of Langar, a free community kitchen which serves meals to all people, regardless of their faith or social background, all day, and throughout the year.
The Gurdwara serves over 3,000 free meals per day, and even more during celebratory or special events. In total, well over 1.5 million meals are served annually.
The first-of-its-kind menu labellilng initiative entitled ‘What’s in your thali?’ will be launched at Ontario Khalsa Darbar on March 14, 2019 and will enable congregants to view nutritional information about the meals they consume as part of Langar.
The Healthy Communities Initiative project has been conducted in partnership with the Central West Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), Region of Peel and William Osler Health System, alongside the City of Brampton and local school boards.
The nutritional information was developed with the support of accredited health professionals in partnership with the Stop Diabetes Foundation, and reflects the exact recipes and methods of preparation that are used in the Gurdwara kitchen. The calorie counts visible on the board are aligned to what patrons of any Ontario chain restaurant are accustomed to seeing.
Jaskaran Singh Sandhu (pictured above), executive director of the World Sikh Organization of Canada states:
“Menu labelling Langar is likely a first in the country and possibly in the world, and demonstrates how health and well being can be promoted in creative and resourceful ways”.