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

Explore the sunken treasures of the Shuswap

Divers explore historic boats and a Ford Model T that broke through lake ice while on a delivery

Kick in, pick up, clean up

Askew’s Downtown Community Cleanup hits the street April 13

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Friday last day before rain and clouds return

Environement Canada forcasts a sunny Friday, but darker weekend days

Rat problem arises in the Shuswap

Traps repeatedly selling out as Chase residents deal with unwelcome rodents

Demand for mental health services increasing with acceptance

Support organization sees growing waitlist, particularly for youth and families with children

Fierce feline spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

SNC-Lavalin maintaining Kelowna bridge amidst controversy in Ottawa

The engineering company designed and maintains the WR Bennett Bridge over Okanagan Lake

Kater to launch ridesharing service in Vancouver by end of month

The Surrey-based company got its permits from the Vancouver Taxi Association

UPDATE: Gun allegedly drawn over garbage dispute in Kelowna

The public is asked to stay away from the Christleton Avenue area

Second case of measles reported in the B.C. Interior

Case is connected to an earlier measles case in 100 Mile House

Cheetahs will not prosper in Creston: Permit rejected for two big cats

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

GM announces jobs, electric vehicle after Trump criticism

The company says it will spend $300 million at its plant in Orion Township

Trucker who caused Broncos crash likely to be deported: lawyer

The Crown has asked that Sidhu serve 10 years in prison

Most Read