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

Graduation rates drop in Coast Mountains School District

Lower student cohorts, increase in Evergreen certificates pointed as possible causes

Cheng² Duo perform in Terrace with 17th-century cello

Siblings bring classical music to R.E.M. Lee Theatre

Kid-friendly ski day at Shames

There were 175 children who skied and took lessons for free at the Port of Prince Rupert event

NARA holds open adoption event

Six cats and two dogs were rehomed

‘Avalanche Awareness Days’ emphasize backcountry safety at Shames

The Skeena Bar and Shames Mountain Co-op both holding events this weekend

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Suspended B.C. legislature officers accused of ‘flagrant overspending’

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Alberta youth charged over theft of $17,000 in snow equipment at B.C. ski resort

Alberta RCMP recovered $17,000 in skis/snowboards believed stolen from Fernie Alpine Resort Saturday

China demands U.S. drop Huawei extradition request with Canada

Hua said China demands that the U.S. withdraw the arrest warrant against Meng Wanzhou

Giant ice disk equipped with webcam after surviving storm

Westbrook official Tina Radel says the livestream was requested by Brown University

Ousted B.C. legislature officials say report released to further blacken their reputations

James and Lenz say release was ‘Contrary to all principles of fairness and decent treatment’

B.C. animators land Oscar nominations

‘Animal Behaviour’ by Vancouver’s David Fine and Alison Snowden among several Canadians on the short list

B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

Auto shop apologizes after B.C. employees disrespect memorial convoy

Mr. Lube staff members suspended after incident Sunday in Nanaimo

Most Read