The Standing Committee on Health is convening to conduct a review of Canada’s outdated food guide. The Committee must determine the scope of the food guide, debate possible additions and omissions, and decide if Canada should even continue with a food guide at all. Creative and inspired solutions are key to ensuring that the final product reflects the rich and diverse culinary heritage of Canada, while also ensuring the health and safety of its citizens.
The following is taken from the (formerly classified) briefing on the issue that was provided to Committee members.
"Since the humble beginnings of our great country, food has served an essential cultural and practical value. Not only does it nourish us and literally keep us with withering away into nothing, food brings people together. Sharing “supper” is a national pastime in itself, and our fondest memories are often made during meals in the company of family and friends.
This pastime has led to Canada being at the forefront of the culinary world. Our country has pioneered famed staple dishes such as poutine and … poutine … and … lots of other things probably that I just can’t think of right now. Timbits I guess? This diversity of food and culture was reflected in previous food guides, such as the 1929 Great Depression guide that reclassified sawdust as a “carbohydrate.” We were inventors, and we were dreamers.
But lately, this very ideal has come under attack. Health Canada’s routine biannual review of the Canadian food guide has shown that the document is woefully inadequate, and does not remotely reflect the increasingly unique and diverse tastes of Canadians. Five to seven servings of vegetables per day? Who honestly hates themselves enough to manage that? And do FNS potatoes count? The guide gives us no clear answer.
The system is clearly broken, and it is up to this committee to recommend the changes that Canadians have been yearning for years. However, in an increasingly corporate world, even exercises as simple as this have the potential to be coopted by sinister forces for private gain. The vegan lobby has a clear motive. So too does the syrup industry. And of course, who could forget about the all-powerful corporate monolith that is Big Garlic Bread.
The future of Canadian food, health, and general public wellbeing is in your hands. We are what we eat."
Issues Facing the Committee Edit
Primary concerns for the committee were as follows:
- Respecting Canada’s culinary history while also looking to the future
- At least attempting to care about health
- Being realistic: please just get rid of Brussel sprouts already
- Resisting the dark specter of temptation from Corporate Canada