Published: Sat, January 26, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Meat Disappears From Trudeau Government’s New Vegan-Like Food Guide

Meat Disappears From Trudeau Government’s New Vegan-Like Food Guide

Graydon, at FCPC, said the guide exceeded the industry's expectations, which deteriorated throughout the consultation process as Health Canada signalled radical changes. "Categorizing food as "highly processed" unfairly vilifies food that can be part of a healthy diet and that many Canadians rely upon as a convenient, affordable, safe and nutritious option", Michi Furuya Chang, the group's senior vice-president of public policy and regulatory affairs, said in a news release.

"[The new guide] does a great job at outlining WHAT foods Canadians should eat and HOW to eat them".

"Today's announcement of the new Food Guide recognizes that fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet", said CPMA President Ron Lemaire.

"We're not telling Canadians not to eat dairy products or not to eat meat products".

What about milk? Instead of giving a separate section to dairy products, the latest guide focuses on moving towards a plant-based direction.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (R) congratulates Ginette Petitpas Taylor after she was sworn-in as Canada's Minister of Health during a cabinet shuffle at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, August 28, 2017. The guide recommends moving away from fruit juices and other sugary drinks (fruit juice has been struck from the "fruits and vegetable" group).

It wasn't until 1992 that the Food Guide took proportion into account, using its graphic to emphasize that people should consume more grain products and produce than dairy items and meats.

The Canada Food Guide was first launched in 1942, under the name Canada's Official Food Rules. "Considerable evidence demonstrates that diets rich in plant-based proteins reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity as well as breast, colon and prostate cancer".

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"We really needed to keep that distance for any perceived or real conflict of interest", Hutchinson said. But Health Canada does work with the provinces, and is expected to unveil a "Healthy Eating Pattern for Health Professionals and Policy Makers" this year.

The old food guide recommended two to three servings of meat or alternatives a day, and two to three servings of milk or alternatives daily.

But by eschewing processed foods, Graydon said, the guide is jeopardizing its own credibility with the already health-conscious consumer.

He says meat is an important source of protein nutrition. He said healthy eating and living is a good message to send to Canadians. Excluding those commissioned by the food industry, Health Canada reviewed scientific reports from the World Health Organization and other agencies since 2006 to come up with its guidelines.

Canadians should eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains and should choose plant-based proteins - such as legumes, nuts and tofu - more regularly, the guide says.

CPMA and CPHA will continue to support the efforts of the Government of Canada to promote a healthy lifestyle by following the new Canada Food Guide and its available resources.

"For too many years, Canada's Food Guide has compromised our health, environment and animals by emphasizing meat, dairy and eggs as being foundational in our diets".

Sylvain Charlebois, a professor in food distribution and policy at Dalhousie University says the big focus is on plant-based sources.

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