Diet focus shifts to sustainability

OTTAWA — Good nutrition has gone beyond food to supporting the health of the planet.

Sustainable diets are protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally acceptable, economically fair and affordable, said Joanne Gallagher, assistant director for nutrition with Dairy Farmers of Canada.

Sustainability cannot be ignored but Gallagher worries people are not eating well for many reasons.

“This is a perennial issue worldwide where people in general are not meeting their country’s food guidelines. I am not sure if we have the answer to remedy that,” she said in an interview at a recent Dairy Farmers of Canada meeting on sustainability in Ottawa.

She encourages people not to reject dairy products.

Dairy is a staple of Canadian diets. Once new immigrants acclimatize to Canadian culture, they also tend to serve more dairy.

Gallagher described dairy products as a nutritional bargain, with food guides around the world recommending more milk consumption and calling it a good source of calcium, protein, riboflavin and Vitamin B12.

There is also scientific evidence to support claims that consuming milk, cheese and yogurt helps reduce the risk of diseases such as colorectal cancer. The risk of Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and stroke are reduced with greater dairy intake.

A Harvard University study found osteoporosis and hip fracture risks were also lowered with higher milk consumption.

Currently, food guides are em-phasizing environmental sustain-ability in food production as well as attempts to encourage lower consumption and reduce food waste.

Gallagher expects Canada’s food guide to be much different than in the past, with a new approach to food quantity and quality.

“It is not changing the overall foods, but choosing more nutrient rich foods,” she said.

Gary Hulob of Health Canada said consultations on a new guide continue, with the emphasis on a healthy eating strategy rather than prescribed recommendations.

In 2018, part one of the new diet-ary policy report for health professionals and policy makers will be released, comprising of general healthy eating recommendations.

In 2019, the new dietary guidance policy report should be ready to outline healthy eating patterns, including recommended amounts and types of foods.

A publication from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization released in 2010 called Sustainable Diets and Biodiversity talked about the need for a shift to more sustainable food systems and diets to protect people’s health and the environment.

With more than nine billion people expected in the world by 2050, the need for food is great but it is likely to come with the continuing degradation of the planet’s re-sources, said the report.

Some countries have already developed recommendations for increased consumption of plant products and local food production, reduction of red meat and processed meat consumption as well as reduced selection of highly processed and sugar sweetened drinks.

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  • BehrE

    Gallagher… your comments are rubbish. Anyone who has looked at milk and the harm it does to a body would drop their head in disbelief. Science is linking milk/dairy products to more and more human health problems, with the latest being Autism. Denmark in their new food guide lists meat as next to junk food and don’t even list milk. Sustainability? Animal agriculture pollutes far more than All transportation does… we need to take care of both. Right now it would take 3.5 earths to feed everyone on the planet the western diet… plants are the only thing which produce protein, animals get it by eating plants. There are far better ways and none of them include perpetuating the myths you do in this article. I’d love to see the report stating Milk reduces fractures. It doesn’t and you know it. Shame on the reporter for not researching your comments. I’d love to read the truth… not this rubbish. Look it up, the information is right under your nose.

  • Nik Maloney

    The milk we have on store shelves today isn’t what it used to be. Milk can be nutritious, I absolutely agree but with today’s processing the quality isn’t there. Not as bad as in the states but still not great. Milk doesn’t belong on the food guide, we can live with out it. Only reason it was on there was from past lobbying. Today’s confinement grain based production isn’t anything to be proud of either.

    • Harold

      We are the only animal on the planet that drinks milk after we are weaned and it is not even our own milk. In truth we are in the field sucking on the nipple of a cow and the calf is now eating grass. Human milk is intended for humans and cow’s milk is intended for cow’s. Human milk keeps us thin and healthy. Cow’s milk helps fatten the calf with weight and promotes growth until the calf is weaned. We remove the fat from the milk to bring it closer to humans milk and then we consume it, but not before we kill the beneficial digestive enzymes in the milk by the process of pasteurization; the milk is dead and now it can sit on the shelf a whole lot longer to benefit corporate profit. Added to the milk are the antibiotics that the animal received to promote growth and a few other toxins. Men are now gaining breasts commonly known now as “man tits” and girls are developing breasts earlier and larger than ever before in the past. It is not only the milk doing this but also meats and other products with growth antibiotics and hormones. Those who are smart enough to know this are the same ones seeking hormone and antibiotic free product.
      Then there is the total BS and hyperbole that milk gives us calcium and without it we would suffer bone loss. This is 100% industry driven unscientific BS. The body does NOT create calcium by drinking it. That is NOT the process. All science aside and moving on to some clarity and perhaps sanity, why does a calf after it is weaned, or full grown cow, or a bull, or any other animal on the planet NOT, NOT, NOT, suffer any bone loss or calcium loss at all, and in fact grow larger bones, AFTER they are weaned; and just humans suffer from it – for lack of sucking on a cows tit? There is a GOD given reason why all of nature’s mothers stop producing milk but a Lying Industry and Lying medical industry community driven reason to keep drinking it. What could their motive for lying be? More milk consumption more profit on the back of a corporate lie. To unscientifically test their lie and to use your GOD given powers of observation instead, break your arm and choke yourself with milk and calcium pills and see if you can prevent the bone loss that is about to happen from non use of that arm. You will lose bone mass regardless of how much you choke down.. After the injury is healed and you regain your use of the arm, the bone mass will gradually increase to normal without milk or calcium pills. Calcium pills are another lie. They go straight in, and just like BS, straight out the back end. We are consuming toxins which are preventing the body’s natural ability to produce calcium on its own, but stopping the toxin restores the body ability. That being said, I love cheese and the other products of milk, but milk its self I do without. Knowing the difference as stated I therefore am seeking flavors, and textures, baking, and the like but I do this provided that there are still digestive enzymes present and no toxins. So I want CLEAN products from CLEAN milk and the lying industry have made this almost impossible. Mostly all of their products are pasteurized dead. Mostly all of their products contain ingredients which are not food or nutrition but used as a filler to steal money from an unsuspecting consumer. If those additives were to be placed on a table in front of the consumer the consumer would see the fraud, betrayal, and theft for themselves. If the consumer took it upon themselves to have their own milk tested they would find out the same betrayal. I make my own cream cheese and butter – it is easy. I buy unpasteurized cheese from raw milk of clean animals from a local producer but unfortunately I have to rely in blind faith due to corrupt government agencies and corrupt Industry on the label “certified Organic”. For me Certified organic amongst all of the corrupt that there are, is only certified organic when I say that it is, from my own examination. For now, I am forced by the threat of Jail, like everyone else is, to pay a tax fee to the Government so that the government can help industry commit their fraud against me and other consumers. If the government is allowing corporate fraud, then the tax fee is an unfair tax fee and it shouldn’t be paid. It is a no-brainer. If you are paying a security company a fee to protect you and they are not – then you DO NOT owe them the fee. For the government to take that Tax fee by the threat of incarceration – it is called government embezzlement. Canadians should wake up for gods sakes – it is past the time. Government protection services are failing all around us and we are the payers for that failed protection – not the corporate – they pay nothing. The corporate get there dollars from us – it is our dollars – and our dollars are not for the purpose of the corporations to do battle against us. My message to the corporate has something to do with the issues of sex and travel and I might have the same message for government and Elite who are controlling those sad and weak little minds.

      • Happy Farmer

        As I am a former dairy farmer I can assure you that there are no antibiotics in milk. Canada has very rigorous testing for antibiotics and milk testing positive is rejected and the farmer faces severe penalties. (Side note for anyone that cares- Supply Management is a key component in the high quality of milk in Canada).
        I have been involved in the Sports world for many years. Many, many nutrionists(with no ties to the “industry” as you say), continue to recommend milk as a very important of an athletes diet. Due to the fact that dietitians working with top athletes still recommend milk, I think you can rest easy as to it’s benefits.
        Wether you choose processed or raw milk does not seem to matter, but make it knowing milk is safe for humans.

        • Harold

          After a good run an athlete reaches for milk to quench his thirst. The men in the deserts are quenched by milk – Is that what you are saying? A body thirsts because the body is suffering from milk deprivation. Is that what you are saying? Is there calcium in broccoli and what else is there? What is “High quality milk” and how is it defined? Is it defined by the properties contained in humans own milk; is that the equivalence? Do humans pasteurize or homogenize their breast milk and then give it to their children? Should they and that is quality milk? What is a Nutritionist exactly and what industry has no ties to the education system? Pasteurize your dairy milk and give it back to the calf and see for yourself how safe the milk actually is. No difference between raw and pasteurized? Find out what the calf says by its failing health. One of the warnings given to woman is what not to consume when breast feeding or pregnant? Why do you suppose that it is? Are cows different in nature because you and your nutritionist say or recommend that they are? It seems that a cow knows when to substitute milk for water and an elevated platform that humans have not yet achieved. How does a cow maintain its bone and health structure after it is weaned? How does a whale do it? How does an elephant do it? How does a dog or wolf do it? How does a giraffe do it? Milk from a tit of a different species and calcium pills and quality supply management? Breast feeding is called quality supply management to those not living on or influenced by the corporate tit.

          • Happy Farmer

            You seem to like using questions to create something out of nothing.
            1. Athletes are not reaching for milk to quench their thirst. They are drinking it because numerous nutritionists and dieticians have recognized it’s value from a nutrient perspective.
            2. I find the rest of your comments similar to a “white elephant”. Your continuous barrage of questions indicates you have no answers of any value that will benefit anyone reading them. But of course, you are free to have them.

  • richard

    Shooting for a sustainable diet will require a sustainable agriculture to support it….Current western diets are unsustainable because they are driven by unsustainable agriculture and its cheap food commodity bias…… high fructose corn syrup, deep fry oils and transfats, refined carbohydrates, protein fractions…. GMO corn, canola, soybeans…. end of list


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