Good food reads
This month there’s been lots of great articles on particular themes like the Canada Food Guide, so we’ve grouped pieces under those themes.
Canada’s Food Guide
Canada’s new Food Guide is a good upgrade, but skirts around issues of inequality
Andre Picard hits the nail on the head, writing that while the new food guide is an excellent upgrade, healthy eating is privilege of the wealthy and that "...the symbolic fruity/nutty/grainy plate is actually out of reach for many who struggle with poverty, food insecurity and health illiteracy."
The long road to a new Canada's Food Guide
Kelly Crowe, health reporter at the CBC, takes a deep dive into the history of Canada's Food Guide, starting with its development during the Second World War — when the guide was designed to fatten soldiers up and ready them for battle — she traces its history through seven revisions, revealing that increasing food industry lobbying led to greater industry influence on the recommendations about what Canadians should eat.
The dark side of Canada's new food guide — many Canadians can't follow it
In a follow-up piece, Crowe picks up on the finding that despite the battles over its content, many don’t have enough money to afford food and, even if they do, time constraints or other pressures make following the guide’s aspirational goals difficult.
The new Canada Food Guide means the jig is up for meat and milk lobbies
In the Globe and Mail, Konrad Yakabuski writes that the best advice Health Canada has included in the new Canada Food Guide is to “be aware of food marketing.” He applauds Health Canada for finally waking up and standing up to industry, following decades of the dairy and meat industry’s masterful shaping of public policy and eating habits through slick marketing and effective lobbying.
Food Marketing to kids
Food industry outcry reshapes children’s ad rules
In a troubling piece, the Globe reveals that Health Canada is adjusting its regulations aimed at restricting unhealthy food and beverage advertising to kids, following outcry from the food industry. Responding to industry pushback, Health Canada made a number of changes to the proposals it put forward, for example dropping a prohibition against sponsorship of childrens’ sports.
The Lancet’s Healthy, Sustainable, and Science-Approved diet
Food in the Anthropocene: the EAT–Lancet Commission on healthy diets from sustainable food systems
Everyone’s talking about the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health’s report on a healthy and sustainable diet. The commission brought together over 30 world-leading scientists from around the world to reach a scientific consensus on a hotly-contested question: what is a healthy and sustainable diet?
Looking at the latest scientific evidence, the commission concludes we need to significantly change how we eat by 2050. Global consumption of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes will have to double, and consumption of red meat and sugar will have to be reduced by more than 50 per cent. Put simply, we need to move to a diet rich in plant-based foods with fewer animal source foods.
Less beef, more beans. Experts say world needs a new diet
Many news reports — like this one from the Associated Press — focused on the nitty-gritty recommendations from the commission, which have stirred up some controversy for their restrictiveness.
For example, limiting red meat intake to one hamburger per week or eggs to fewer than four per week, and dairy to a serving per day or less. Such recommendations, some argue, are likely to go over like a lead balloon in places where meat, cheese and eggs are seen as core parts of not just the diet, but the culture.
Seeds, kale and red meat once a month – how to eat the diet that will save the world
Over at the Guardian, they’ve gone deep into the recommendations, putting together what a week of meals on this EAT-Lancet diet would look like for the average person in Britain.
Income and Poverty
Despite new labour rules, some Ontario employers are boosting minimum wage, keeping paid sick days
The Globe featured businesses who decided to lead the way and raise their minimum wage to $15 on Jan. 1, despite no longer being required to, including our friends and supporters at Neal Brothers Food. They credit reliable employees as a big factor in their success and say that perks like a health plan and decent wage cement employee commitment to the company.
Opinion: Facts don’t support Ford’s fears of paying people more
In the Star, Queen’s Park columnist Martin Regg Cohn takes to task those who argued the minimum wage increase would lead to job losses, saying the evidence just doesn’t support the claims. Citing StatsCan unemployment data, Cohn says Ontario’s total employment went UP, not down, with our economy growing by 77,500 jobs, pushing unemployment to the very low 5.4 per cent last month.