Now, I know I’ve said this many times before, but I’ll say it again: These times, they are a’changing! It has been such a pleasure to witness all of the massive shifts happening around the planet, and in my lifetime, too! It’s truly amazing, and to anyone who believes that change is impossible, I say, open your eyes and look around you. Things are constantly changing, and I am blown away by how quickly many things that were once thought of as permanent in our society are actually shifting thanks to our increased awareness about what is going on in the world and our persistent demand for the type of world we would actually like to live in.
Case in point? Canada has recently decided to remove the milk and dairy products category from its National Recommended Food Guide System. To me, this is a monumental step forward for community health. As a child, I took this information in without question, and I felt pride every time I had a bowl of cereal, a glass of milk, or some yogurt, because I believed that this was making my body and my bones strong. After all, I had been led to believe that “milk does a body good,” regardless of how it made me feel.
Why the Sudden Wakeup Call?
The newly proposed guide is still in the drafting stage, but it does stress the importance of plant-based diets not only for our health, but that of the environment, too. Plant-based proteins are considered healthier to consume than meats, and the guide advises getting vitamins and nutrients from plant-based foods over animal products.
Thankfully, industry-commissioned reports were excluded from consideration during this process of re-drafting the Canadian National Food Guide, and consumer input is welcome and encouraged. This lack of corporate influence is undoubtedly why we no longer see milk, dairy, and animal products at the top of the guide’s list of required foods. In the past, these corporations spent fortunes to influence the food guide recommendations, and public opinion around these foods was shaped accordingly. If your government is telling you that you should be eating something and you trust that the government has your best interest at heart, then of course your eating habits will be influenced by their suggestions.
The Environmental Impact of Meat and Animal Product Consumption
The new guidelines acknowledge that our food system directly impacts our environment and its current decline. The way we eat directly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, degradation of soil and water quality, and loss of wildlife. The draft even states, “Diets higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal based foods are associated with a lesser environmental impact.”
It is essential that we stop separating our physical and mental well-being from that of the environment, because they are inextricably linked. If our environment is unhealthy, how can it possibly provide us with healthy, nutrient-rich foods? This is something to consider.
Will This Shift How We as Canadians Eat?
The fact of the matter is, many people won’t feel they need to change their dietary habits unless mainstream media and/or government tells them that they should. The guidelines presented in this draft represent a dramatic improvement from the last Canadian food guide, and this actually puts Canada alongside Brazil as a world leader in dietary health. We are taking back our power from industry influence and promoting actual, evidence-based eating patterns aimed at improving our health, not raising profits for food corporations.
Want to Participate?
Please remember that this draft has yet to be finalized, and if you would like to see it come to life as Canada’s new National Food Guide, then your support is very much encouraged. Click here to take action and tell the government that our health matters more than corporate interests. We have the power to create the type of world we want to live in — don’t forget it!
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