VANCOUVER — Lobby groups for the meat and dairy sectors are up in arms over indications that Canada’s next food guide could discourage the consumption of beef, butter and cheese.
The guide, expected to be released early next year after its first overhaul in a decade, has been instrumental in teaching generations the importance of nutrition and a balanced diet. And while it may not be Health Canada’s intention, it can also serve as a key marketing tool for certain food industries.
Earlier this year, Health Canada published guiding principles and recommendations, one of which promotes eating more protein-rich foods derived from plants.
Isabelle Neiderer, director of nutrition and research with Dairy Farmers of Canada, said she takes that as a sign that the new food guide could lump all protein, including dairy products, into one food group. The current food guide recommends two to four daily servings of milk and alternative products, depending on age and gender.
The elimination of the milk and alternative products category from the food guide would send a message that all proteins are the same and not take into account that milk products contain nutrients vital…