A glass of milk every night is essential for bone health and growth was what we were told all our childhood. Not drinking enough milk meant you’d earn the glares of your mother. However, Canada’s new food guide, released in January this year, has tossed milk out of the picture.
Yes, you read that right. As per the new Canadian food guide, dairy is not a necessary part of your routine because it is highly-processed, contains chemicals, and is unhygienic.
Why Is Milk Being Sidelined?
Every 10 years or so, Canada puts on the table a food guide. The last guide came out in 2007 and this one was two years late because of the extensive research that was being carried out and put into it. Since 1942, milk has been a part of this guide but not anymore. In fact, this food guide has also made other changes to daily diet that are raising eyebrows.
The reasons given for the exclusion of dairy from everyday diet say that firstly, milk these days is packed with chemicals that lower its quality. Secondly, the animals from which it is extracted don’t meet the highest standards of health and hygiene. Moreover, the use of flavored milk among children is common but because this milk contains more sugar it has been deemed unhealthy as it can contribute to obesity.
The changes in the latest food guide aren’t limited to the cancelation of dairy. Other significant differences can also be noticed. For one, food serving sizes have been ignored, the food pyramid has been put away and a plate showing serving sizes has been opted for. US did the same in 2011 but its plate had a glass of dairy showing in the diagram too.
The food guide now says that one should focus more on consuming fruits and vegetables and shouldn’t replace fruits with 100% whole fruit juice because juice contains harmful sugar. The intake of processed meat is also being disregarded because it doesn’t offer many proteins. The food guide’s plate shows half a side of fruits and veggies while the other half comprises portions of grains and proteins.
The Backlash Received
Canada’s new food guide favors a plant-based diet way more and this is making critics think that the guide is biased. While pro-plant dieticians are happy with the document, the dairy lobby isn’t too impressed. In fact, the Dairy Farmers of Canada have been angered by the exclusion of milk so much so that they even put forth a statement that said that the new guide was aiming at hurting Canadian farmers.
The statement also said that there is no “scientific justification” which reduces the importance of milk in a healthy daily diet. To support the use of milk, famers have also mentioned the many benefits for health provided by milk. This massive alteration in the food guide comes after the use of dairy has already declined. The pro-vegan mantra has lead people to boycott dairy for ethical reasons. Over and above that, dairy use is also being reduced because some people are lactose intolerant.