Editorial—Food for Thought

The two main political parties on the federal scene in Canada are obviously the Liberals and Conservatives.  With a federal election on the horizon, everything and everything can become a campaign issue.  Including the Canada Food Guide.  You know what that is, it’s that thing you saw posters of when you were in Grade School, often showing a little pyramid of different colors, supposedly telling you how to eat, how much dairy, how much meat, etc, to have a healthy diet.

Of course, as grade school students, we had next to no control over what we ate, and by the time we got to the age where we did, the idea of basing your meals  off of a poster in your grade 3 classroom would have been ludicrous to even suggest.

Yet, for some reason, this thing has become an issue.  Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer started this go-round when asked by a dairy farmer about the new food guide, and what he thinks.  The new guide, you see, does not have a prominent role for milk to play.  It suggests drinking water as the main drink.

Mr. Scheer promptly began speaking about how the development of the food guide was biased and done with little to no consultation.  Mr. Trudeau has since responded that there were a couple of rounds of consultation, and then Health Canada did further consideration with health experts, and that Mr. Scheer is “going to war” with the food guide like the Conservative Party did with the long form census.

It should be noted that dieticians and nutritionists are generally looking at the revamped guide as an improvement over the old one, which some felt was too much influenced in its development by various lobby groups, including the dairy industry.

From there, a brouhaha has emerged about what level of industry involvement is appropriate, is Mr. Scheer simply catering to private profits over public health, or is Mr. Trudeau following some sort of new age, feel-good ideology over public health.  Some commenters breathlessly point out that there’s a vast conspiracy against beef and dairy, others pointing out that the beef and dairy industries are their own vast conspiracy, and, as is the nature of the internet, commenters being outraged that the government might dare tell them how to eat in the first place.  And the outraged that other people are outraged at advice that might be useful for some.

Lost in all this, however, has been any discussion about the actual contents of the food guide.

And this is what bothers me.  No, I don’t actually know what’s in the new food guide, I haven’t looked at it beyond a superficial level.  And I don’t care that much either.  What bothers me, however, is that we’ve developed into a society where we’re spending more time arguing about the argument itself rather than simply examining the source and seeing if it makes any sense.

This sort of ties into this week’s Voice Magazine, where we have a couple of articles urging us to dig deeper into ourselves and our studies.  Whether it’s the Fly on the Wall that is looking at how your studies might be akin to dangerous exploration, but worth the risk anyway, or like in Wanda Waterman’s article on developing both principles and a vision to get you to where you want to be.

For our feature, we interview a student who’s gone from military life to working as a vet with her own shelter and is hoping to move up to helping humans in the future.

Plus, advice on how to eat frugally in ways you may not have thought of before.  It may be useful to you, but it doesn’t sound very appealing to me (pun intended, and you’ll get it when you get there.)

We also have a look at Traditional Chinese Medicine, an examination of a woman who was part of the Dutch Resistance movement, and quite probably an assassin, and, of course, events, scholarships, a rundown of social media and more!

Enjoy the read!

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