Canada’s new food guide was unveiled mid-January amid much criticism. Leaning heavily on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, water and protein from non-animal sources, it has many experts questioning its outright disregard for existing research and studies. The large reductions in animal-based proteins (dairy, eggs, poultry and other meats) are concerning, especially for young, growing children. Humans are omnivores, not herbivores.
A big push from the guide is to replace ‘sugary’ drinks with water, even at meals. As any drink containing a substance ending in ‘ose’ is, essentially, a sugary drink, this does away with milk (lactose) and fruit juices (fructose) among others, not just soft drinks.
The arguing against this new guide has been going on for months. In fact, its introduction to the public was delayed, but, here it is, strong on food items that are either not produced 365 days a year in Canada or, if they are grown here during the summer, not readily storable and thus not available as a domestic product all year. The new Canadian Food Guide promotes the consumption of imported foods from countries where Canada has no say in agricultural processes, including the use of fertilizers, drugs, pesticides, etc. How healthy is that and how much does it increase the average grocery bill?
But due to the new food guide and three-and-a-half years of new government, I have at last figured out the logic and rationale of our prime minister, Justin Trudeau. Consider these items:
• In 2017, while introducing proposed amendments to small business taxes, which would badly affect farmers, Trudeau referred to the very vocal objectors as the “rich and wealthy,” thus including farmers. Rich and wealthy farmers? I think not. But those are his words.
• Since entering office in 2015, Trudeau signed off on a number of trade deals, one of which was initiated by the Harper Conservatives, causing large quota cuts in Canada’s supply-managed farm sectors (dairy, eggs and poultry). Of note, as yet, not one farmer has been directly reimbursed for his lost quota.
• On the flip side of these trade deals, a multitude of foreign countries now have easier access to Canada’s consumers, especially with fruits and vegetables that can’t be grown here.
• Lastly, the legislation making pot legal in Canada, promised during campaigning as a vote getter, was pushed through parliament to ensure it is in place before this fall’s election but it leaves the provinces and municipalities to sort out how best to manage this new legal product in their cities and villages.
It all slots into place supporting this food guide issued under Trudeau’s watch:
Being “rich and wealthy,” farmers don’t need to sell so much food to make money, especially supply-managed ones. With less consumption of milk, eggs and meat, the reduction of quota is just enforcing what Trudeau hopes will be a fact as fewer Canadian consumers supposedly buy these non-plant based proteins. Milk, containing the sugar “lactose;’ should be replaced by water, another problem solved.
If one is worried about these changes you can just buy some legal pot, light up, lean back and chill! No worries, man.
Add in a national guaranteed income scheme and all is perfect. No one needs to work, quota doesn’t exist, all food is imported and everyone is beyond happy.
Just don’t forget to vote this fall.
Angela Dorie is an agricultural writer and a Jersey farmer near Cornwall.