Our last blog: The Farewell

“Saying goodbye doesn’t mean anything. It’s the time we spent together that matters.”

– Trey Parker

Photo Credit, Photo Credit, Photo Credit 

Hello everyone! Welcome to our last blog post of the year, which unfortunately means our community project is coming to an end. There has been many ups and downs during our project but we finally made it! In our last blog, we will outline a moment of significance that occurred while we tried to finish our project. A moment where we had to rethink and adjust our plans, even near the end of our project. We will also inform you guys all about the limitations and results of our work and say our farewells!


A Hiccup Near The End :O


In our final weeks of our project, we finished our data analysis on all six menus provided by Gordon Neighbourhood House (GNH). While we were trying to analyze the results, we realized there wasn’t as much information as we anticipated at the beginning of the project, which made the assessments have limitations. First of all, the menus provided were not exact measurements of the ingredients used in the recipes. Moreover, some of the ingredients were added depending on how much or how little the guests wanted to add. These uncertainties make the process of analysis more difficult (Bradac, 2001). Additionally, serving sizes vary and it was difficult for us to accurately convert them into exact numbers. We had to ask ourselves many questions while inputting our data, such as how we would convert three heads of broccoli into cups/grams? Lastly, lack of recipes made our results less representative. Because the community partners were busy and they only had a few recipes at hand, we were only able to analyze five of the Wednesday lunch recipes and one Tuesday recipe, which means the results may be skewed. Monday, most Tuesday, and Thursday recipes, which often include meat, were not included. The Wednesday lunches we analyzed are “Pay What You Can” and are usually vegetarian meals, so it was not much of a surprise to us that they were limited in protein and the essential vitamins and minerals associated with meat. On top of all of this, our initial idea to analyze the results to Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) by Health Canada, was not ideal because we only collected data for lunches which is not representative of a full day of eating.


So What

As you can see, we encountered many difficult problems even near the end of our project. There were problems that were not foreseen and made us reconsider many of the ideas and effort we put into our community project. We had developed more uncertainties, making us feel uncomfortable and wary of our work (Bradac, 2001). Yet, we persisted on and came up with ways to reduce our uncertainties and make things more predictable because naturally, as human beings, we appreciate the expected (Bradac, 2001). A solution we came up with when it came to varying portion sizes was to estimate how much each ingredient was added to the recipe. However, doing so lowered the accuracy of our assessment. To address the issue of how the recipes only represented lunches, we came to a decision to divide the RDAs by three and determine the lacking nutrients based on how little the nutrients met one-third of the RDAs. We concluded that we cannot assume that the GNH lunches are representative of all the meals the guests eat in a day. Therefore, in our report, we only note that since a majority of the GNH meals are lower in a specific nutrient, seniors must compensate for these nutrients in other meals. As for the lack of recipes from other days of the week, we determined that there was not much we could do and noted the limitation in our results. Since we understand that our results are not as detailed as we had imagined, our results may not be as accurate as we hoped.


Now What

We’ve come to terms with our obstacles and our group has been very optimistic. Throughout the term as a team, we learned to adapt to new situations and noticed that we cannot always achieve everything that we want, even though we have put in all our effort. The key point is to understand that flaws and imperfections are only opportunities for us to learn and improve for the future. There will always be barriers and limitations in whatever work we do. And so, we have listed a few limitations that can be turned into a list of suggestions for the next LFS 350 group that continues to investigate our project. Now, as we move forward our objective is to end this semester on a high note. We have decided to have a tighter and reinforced schedule that will allow us to meet all of our final deadlines. As a team, we have created a to-do list for each member to keep track of our individual duties. New methods of interaction have been introduced which include on-campus meetings and group Skype calls.

Even after the many issues we encountered, we were able to provide a list of worrisome nutrients and a few suggestions for our stakeholders to implement. The RDAs of concern were vitamin D, calcium, vitamin B12, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin K, protein, and sodium was a little high. We suggested that some food items such as pork, tofu, kale, nutritional yeast, and dairy products should be included in meals to increase the amounts of the nutrients of concern in the lunches served at GNH.


In order: photo of garlic bread and soup, list of meals during the week, preparation of food

Photos were taken at GNH by us


Here is the end! Thank you for following us throughout our journey and reading about our escapade. Hopefully, we have sparked enough interest in some of our readers to be a part of their own community projects because it is a challenging but rewarding thing to do! Although our project and classes have ended, our interests in nutrition and health have not. We will continue to study and hopefully have more opportunities to do nutritional assessments on those who need/want them. Thank you to our instructors, professors, and community stakeholders for allowing us to be part of such a collaborative and enjoyable project!

 Photo Credit 




Bradac, J. (2001). Theory comparison: Uncertainty reduction, problematic integration, uncertainty management, and other curious constructs. Journal of Communication, 51(3), 456-476. doi:10.1093/joc/51.3.456



“It’s the best food in town!” – GNH Stakeholder


Figures 1 & 2: Foods from GNH lunches


Objectives Dates
Distribute the work for the final report and presentation November 13
Last group (we split into 3 groups) visits GNH lunch November 6
Finish conducting quantitative observations by using EaTracker and making nutritional reports November 15
Finalize and complete a copy of nutritional assessments and a handout outlining common nutritional deficiencies for seniors and recommendations of common foods addressing these deficiencies that can be given to Katelyn (GNH representative) November 17


  • Two of the three groups visited GNH lunches
  • Collected qualitative data
  • Took photos and briefly interviewed the stakeholders
  • Split recipes among the six of us and began talking about EaTracker

A Moment of Significant Change For Group 9

 Click here for clearer image 

Figure 3: Changes in Emotions and Skills Graph for Group 9


This week during our tutorial session we did a Moment of Significant Change Workshop. The workshop allowed us to track our changes in emotions and skills over the past few weeks and what we thought our future emotions and skills would be. In figure 3, you will see that we were most happy and thought our skills were most developed when we personally visited the Gordon Neighbourhood House (GNH). These visits allowed us to connect with the stakeholders, have insight into what they thought about the lunch program at GNH, and opened a new perception of the individuals who visited GNH lunches.  There were also small dips between the weeks when we had felt lost within our project or when we had some doubts about our vision. In the future weeks to come, we believe that our emotions and skills would improve. We will gain more insight as we begin to analyze GNH’s lunch menus and come up with future menu improvements.

So What: 

It’s normal to undergo dips in our emotions during the course of a project; these are times when we grow the most. For example, after writing our proposal and receiving feedback from our Teaching Assistant and community partner, we felt our emotions begin to deplete because we thought we had a good grasp of what was going on and wished we could have done better in hindsight. However, this was a moment of growth as it meant we had more to learn about our project and the community we are working with. This process allowed us to narrow our knowledge gap as we had an opportunity to do some research, reflect, and revise our proposal. We felt that we had strengthened our communication and writing skills from this process.

Visiting GNH made us feel significant because we were able to contribute to the community by taking time talking with the stakeholders and listening to their wealth of knowledge. During our visits, we noticed that a vast majority of guests at GNH were pleased with the food offered and were glad that everything used to make the dishes were either grown at GNH or locally sourced. Some of the guests knew about the individual benefits local foods offer, such as fresher and more nutritious foods, but they were unsure as to why or how local foods can contribute to a healthier community and planet. This allowed us to be able to connect with the guests and share the knowledge we learned from class. We informed them that local foods are capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions due to the transportation of foods, supported small-scale, sustainable farmers, and contribute to community economic development (Gibb & Wittman, 2013). By sharing what we have learned in class and listening to the stories the guests had to offer, we were able to solidify the knowledge we have learned and also gain different perspectives from the stakeholders. This also helped us build relationships with the stakeholders at GNH.

Other than expanding our knowledge, another significant change that occurred was our perception of the stakeholders. When we started our project you could say we had a very narrow-minded, privileged view of the guests we thought would visit GNH (Yankini, 2014). At first, we believed that all the guests would appear to be low-income but we were wrong. Many of the guests were dressed quite fancy and treated the lunches as a social gathering. They were much more positive and enthusiastic than we expected. We realized that many of the guests seemed to be there more for social connections rather than the food. You could say we were pretty embarrassed by our misconception and that we should have done more research before jumping to conclusions.

Now What:

Now that we have personally visited GNH and have gotten to properly observe the lunches, we hope to increase our skills and continue an upward trend in emotions as well. Since we are nearing the end of our project, we hope to use the experiences and knowledge we gained from GNH lunches to better our project and maybe revise our thoughts on the guests at GNH. We will still be doing a nutritional assessment on the recipes at GNH using recommendations for seniors. However, we may have to remove the low-income assumption we made at the start of our project. We will also do our best to take into consideration the feedback we have collected from the stakeholders and incorporate the feedback into the suggestions within our nutritional assessment. Lastly, we hope that what we have learned from this workshop can further carry us towards a smooth and successful final project.


Figures 4 & 5: Tables set for lunches at GNH ft. Amanda

Graceful Dismount (Strategy for successful completion):

  • Distribute tasks fairly and equally amongst each group member 
  • Meet deadlines and do not leave things last minute
  • If we have any questions, we will ask the TA and community partner ASAP and not leave it until last minute
  • Designate a specific editor to edit all the final products



Gibb, N., & Wittman, H. (2013). Parallel alternatives: Chinese-canadian farmers and the metro

                vancouver local food movement. Local Environment, 18(1), 1.

Yankini, M. (2014, June). Malik Yankini: Food, Race and Justice.[Video File]. Retrieved from:



“Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than the one where they sprang up.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Photo credit 

Welcome back to our blog!

We wanted to make an update on how far along we are in our community project with the Gordon Neighbourhood House. First, we will start off with this week’s weekly objectives and our achievements. Then, we will discuss a moment of significance with you and finally, we will finish up with upcoming objectives and strategies. Before reading on, click here (Group 9’s Proposal) to see our project proposal!


Weekly Objectives Dates
Contact Katelyn of GNH in regards to meeting up to discuss our proposal and available days and times we can come visit GNH Oct 6
Finalize proposal and send proposal to Katelyn so she can review it before our meeting Oct 8
Meet with Katelyn at GNH to finalize dates we will come to make observations and interview guests during lunch times (2 days) Oct 11
Produce a list of questions we can ask the guests of GNH when we go to visit Oct 12
Lookup recommended daily allowances in Canada’s Food Guide and the nutritional needs of seniors as per Dietary Reference Intakes Tables by Health Canada. Oct 13


Ongoing Objective:

  • Continue to respond to Facebook messages during the week to stay on top of all our work and keep in contact during flex weeks.
  • Continue going to GNH and meet with guests that come for the lunches.
  • Evaluate the nutritional status of the food that is served at GNH.
  • Determine whether the food at GNH meet Canada’s dietary requirements for seniors.
  • Keep in contact with Katelyn and keep her informed about our project and progress.

Achievements to date (October 13, 2017)

  • Completed our Proposal for GNH Lunch Menus.
  • Interviewed Katelyn (our GNH correspondent) to go over the details of our proposal and find two days in the near future we can come interview guests.
  • Planned and written down our plans for the next couple of weeks regarding the assignments we need to complete.
  • Completed two blog posts for LFS 350.

Overcoming Scheduling Difficulties 

After completing the first couple of weeks of our project, we were all exuberant about our plans and the opportunity to work with Gordon Neighbourhood House (GNH). Everything was meticulously thought out and we had planned to meet with the guests whenever we were all free at least twice this semester. However, we ran into troubles when planning the days we were going to visit GNH because many of us had classes that interfered with the times that GNH served their meals. Furthermore, the long commute time posed, even more, challenges for us. We were feeling stressed out and felt as though the project was becoming unmanageable.

 Photo credit

Many times in life things do not go according to plan, especially when working in groups. Our community project does not only revolve around the schedule of six individuals but also the schedule of GNH and it’s personnel. The reason we felt so distraught was that we wanted the opportunity to physically show up to GNH and make important observations and ask stakeholders questions to give our project insight and depth. During this time, we were intrigued by a TED talk that was posted on our LFS 350 class website. The TED talk by Tim Harford (2016) explains how a dash of mess and adding randomness actually makes problem-solving better and is advantageous to a project. Interestingly, Harford spoke of how a step-by-step plan will eventually lead to a dead end and that randomness makes a project more robust. This statement made our group think that this small “hiccup” was actually benefitting our overall project because disruptions and problem-solving help us become more creative (Harford, 2016).

Ultimately, our group solved the issue by deciding to visit GNH in two smaller groups. One group consisted of those of us who did not have class from 12 to 1 pm and the other group decided to visit the Monday after Remembrance Day because classes are not in session. We also decided that we would visit GNH on two different days of the week. This gives us the opportunity of exploring diverse lunch menus and smaller groups are less disorganized when going to GNH as well. Additionally, it’ll feel less overwhelming for GNH guests to interact with two or three interviewers instead of six. Not only did we solve the problem of not being able to find a time for all of us to visit GNH but we added new ideas that make our project better. Now that we know that disorganization is not fatal, in future group work, in the course or anytime in our lives, trying to understand and solve problems when they arise is more effective than ignoring them.

Upcoming objectives:

Date Oct 18-Nov 13

Go to GNH at 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm (during lunch time) to talk to stakeholders and take notes on meals and recipes (Oct 25 and Nov 13)

  • Arrive 10 minutes early to talk to Katelyn and give her a list of questions to give the stakeholders and volunteers.
  • Prepare all questions on paper and print copies.
  • Talk to those who want to be spoken to and limit talking to those who wish not to talk.

Log all food items from 12 lunch menu recipes into EaTracker and produce a dietary assessment for seniors by comparing the nutrients to Canada’s Food Guide, the nutritional needs of seniors as per Dietary Reference Intakes Tables by Health Canada.

  • Split work amongst group members: 2 recipes per group member.
  • Compile and compare the results.
  • Highlight important warnings such as over and under consumption of certain vitamins and minerals.

Produce a final copy of our data and recipe suggestions to give to Katelyn

  • Divide suggestions/data/nutrient deficiencies by days rather than by recipes.
  • Organize and explain collected data in such way that’ll be easy for the general public to understand.

Picture of Canada’s Food Guide: Photo credit 

As you can see we have been busy working on our community project and hope to keep making progress. We still have lots to accomplish but stay tuned for our next blog to see what other troubles and successes we get ourselves into!



Welcome to Group 9’s GNH Lunch Menu Blog!

Have you ever had to compromise a healthy option for a more affordable one?

As six university students who study about food, nutrition, and health, we can sympathize with those who have to save every nickel to eat a nutritious meal.

Welcome to our blog!

This is us!

From left to right we have Mengxi Li, Ariane Lai, Jiahui (Candy) Xiong, Jin-sun Cho, Amanda Augustyn, and Alice Luo. All of us are currently starting our third-year at the University of British Columbia. Interestingly, most of us, Jin-sun, Alice, Ariane, and Amanda, are studying Food, Nutrition, and Health. Mengxi is majoring in Food Market Analysis and Candy is in Nutritional Sciences. Obviously, our interests include food and the functionality it has on our bodies, communities, and lives since our faculty is majorly food based. However, we also have plenty other interests like rollerblading, volleyball, volunteering and cooking.

As we mentioned before, sparingly spending while maintaining a healthy lifestyle is something we consider on a daily basis as Land and Food Systems students. When we are busy or short on spending money, making the right decisions while eating can be difficult. When the opportunity to work with the Gordon Neighbourhood House (GNH) was presented to us, we all wanted to be a part of it.  The reason was that we wanted to see if someone with a lower income or mobility issues could achieve a low-cost but well-balanced diet in their communities. While working with GNH, we hope we can meet the various people in the West Vancouver area and be exposed to the different ways that GNH is used for helping their community achieve community food security, which is defined as “a situation in which all community residents obtain a safe, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes self-reliance and social justice” (Hamm et al., 2003). Fortunately, working with GNH will also allow us to gain hands-on experience with assessing nutrition in the community and applying what we actually learn in the classroom to a real-life situation.

Now, the question is what are we actually doing with GNH and what is GNH all about? The objective of our project is to experience planning, preparing, and serving healthy-low-cost meals to the guests that visit GNH. Then, we will provide a nutritional assessment of their recipes and articulate our ideas on how to improve or enhance their recipes so that they are optimally healthy and low-cost. GNH presents a clear food philosophy and has specific ideas about how they see and treat their guests, which is to use food as a way to nourish their community. This does not mean just literally nourishing their guests but to also nourish them with intercultural exchange and dialogue, community-capacity building, and community development (Gordon Neighbourhood House, 2017). We were also strongly advised to not patronize the guests or be paternalistic towards them because we are not there to “baby” the residents or think that we are above them (Sirolli, 2012). In addition, we are not there to make unnecessary major changes but to simply reinforce the recipes GNH already has to offer (Sirolli, 2012). We hope to build on the assets and traditions already established at GNH in a respectful manner so that we can make community members feel safe and unembarrassed, which is also one of our objectives in the project.

What we first observed about GNH is that it is community-based. This means the available resources in the area and the community’s traditions will determine what types of programs and events are available. This is important because using their assets will help develop a more inclusive and stronger connection with the community. As mentioned, GNH differs from other neighbourhood houses in that they focus on food. Many of their programs revolve around food. For example, GNH has a bike-powered market called Gordon Greens, which increases access to affordable and nutritious produce for the community, particularly those who have difficulties with mobility. We also noted that our misconceptions of West Vancouver, being an extremely wealthy area with no food insecurity, were wrong. West Vancouver, like many other communities, is also inhabited with people struggling to find a comfortable place to eat. GNH is providing more than just a meal, it is providing residents with a social opportunity and the food justice they rightfully deserve. What we hope to do is to become part of that community as well, learn from the residents in the area, provide our assets, and gather passions from the community to help the community grow stronger.


Hamm, M. and Bellows, A. (2003). Community Food Security and NutriBon Educators. Journal Of NutriBon EducaBon and Behaviour, Volume 35, Issue 1, Pages 37-43.

Gordon Neighbourhood House. (2017). Food Philosophy- GordonHouse.org. RetrievedSeptember 21, 2017, from  http://gordonhouse.org/about-gordon-neighbourhood-house/right-to-food/

Sirolli, E. (2012, August). Want to Help Someone? Shut Up and Listen! Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/ernesto_sirolli_want_to_help_someone_shut_up_and_listen#t-5461



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