Cheesed off: Federal Food Guide makeover worries Canadian farmers

When the overhaul began, Health Canada said it wouldn’t base healthy eating on food industry research

An overhaul of the Canada Food Guide is set to be released soon, a highly anticipated makeover that will do away with the rainbow visual many Canadians associate with the dietary guide commonly used in hospitals and daycares.

One of the major changes expected in the new guide is a focus on plant-based sources of proteins — a move that has sparked concern among industry players, including the Dairy Farmers of Canada.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, the national policy and lobby organization representing Canada’s farmers warned the decision could have a detrimental impact on future generations and harm a sector that continues to be “negatively impacted by the concessions granted in recent trade agreements.”

“Not only will this harm the dairy sector and the hundreds of thousands who depend upon it for their livelihoods, it also risks harming Canadian consumers by creating confusion about the nutritional value of dairy,” said its president Pierre Lampron.

Hasan Hutchinson, director general of nutritional policy and promotion at Health Canada, said Friday that Health Canada has stayed true to its goal of basing the new Food Guide on the best available evidence also recognized by international organizations.

READ MORE: The debate over the new Canada Food Guide

When the overhaul began years ago, Health Canada said it wouldn’t base its new guide to healthy eating on research from food industries.

The department is not saying that animal-based proteins are not nutritious, Hutchinson said, noting the food guide will continue to recommend Canadians choose from foods including lower-fat milk, lower-fat yogurt and cheeses lower in fat and sodium.

It will also refer to lean meats, poultry and other animal-based foods as examples of nutritious choices, he said.

“However, there will be a bit of an emphasis, a focus on having more plant-based foods,” he said.

“Regular intake of plant-based foods, so vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and these plant-based proteins can have positive effects on health,” he said, noting cardiovascular disease is a particular concern.

In a document put out for consultation, Health Canada said most Canadians do not eat enough vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and many also drink beverages high in sugars.

It also said what is needed is a shift towards a high proportion of plant-based foods generally, adding new advice could help Canadians eat more fibre-rich foods, eat less red meat, and replace foods that contain mostly saturated fat with foods that contain mostly unsaturated fat.

Kristy Kirkup, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Fundraiser for teenager hit by car in Rosedale

Teen suffering multiple fractures and blood clots following incident on Yale Road

Vedder River cleanup nets bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Hikers alert after woman approached by suspicious man in Harrison Mills

The woman and her family were hiking in the wetlands between Rowena’s Inn and Sts’ailes First Nation

Chilliwack International Spring Film Series returns to Cottonwood 4 Cinemas

Put a spring in your step with the Chilliwack International Spring Film Series’ feature titles

EDITORIAL: No think-tank report cards for the Observer

Fraser Institute’s annual school ranking isn’t a good measure of success, editor Grace Kennedy writes

Film crews descend on Agassiz for ‘Republic of Sarah’

Pioneer Avenue will be closed to traffic Monday and Tuesday

Sentencing begins for indecent caller

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

COLUMN: Smart phone too powerful a tool to yank from students’ hands

Rather than ban them from schools, let’s teach kids to harness their phone’s power and use it properly

Trudeau sells housing plan in visit to hot real estate market in B.C.

Trudeau said the budget contains measures to help first-time buyers

Most Read