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Eat Your Veggies - It's an Emergency!

According to Stats Canada, the rate of fruit and vegetables consumed by Canadians has actually seen a (continued) decline in the last few years. Far less than half of Canadians (40.6%) are getting anywhere near enough to prevent disease and premature death. A healthy diet is one of the most accessible and self empowering tools for prevention, but are we being encouraged to take action? A close look at our food guide says we are in dire need of nutritional education in schools and workplaces to combat advertising. We are working on providing a healthier option with our Healthy People, Happy Planet Food Guide.
The latest from Statistics Canada constitutes a national emergency. With soaring healthcare costs and a growing senior population, we simply must focus on prevention if we are to be fiscally and socially responsible.
In 2012, only 40.6% of Canadians aged 12 and older, reported that they consumed fruit and vegetables five or more times per day (as directed by the Health Canada).

This rate is unchanged from 2011.  Fruit and vegetable consumption peaked in 2009 at 45.6% (that’s a peak?) and then decreased two years in a row in 2010 and again in 2011, marking the first decline in the rate since 2001.   From 2001 to 2012, females were more likely than males to consume fruit and vegetables the five or more times daily. In 2012, 47.0% (6.6 million) of females versus 33.9% (4.6 million) of males.
When those who were classified as obese were combined with those who were overweight, 59.9% of men and 45.0% of women in Canada were considered at greater risk of disease due to their weight.

The ratio of male to female obese and overweight numbers match the fruit and veggie consumption stats. Coincidence?
All of this to say that Canadians are obviously in dire need of nutritional education, information that they are clearly not receiving in sufficient amounts from the government and schools. Especially in light of the ever growing onslaught of advertising they are exposed to each day. To continue on this path spells disaster for everyone, especially those who are disadvantaged in any way. YOU can help.

Please consider helping us secure funding for our Canadian-made Educational Literature Project and making a much needed contribution to the health and wellbeing of Canadians. This will have the added benefit of improving conditions for the animals and the environment, and allow children to grow up with the advantages that good health brings. These are powerful stats, please be part of the solution if you can. We really do feel that these stats constitute an emergency, and the time to act is now!

Find out more about our Canadian-made Educational Literature Project here and GIVE TODAY!

What is one serving?

(Fruit juice is so high in sugar, and without natural fibre, so it's best to avoid considering it a serving)

125 mL (½ cup) fresh, frozen or canned fruits or vegetables
250 mL (1 cup) raw leafy veggies or salad
1 fruit

One serving of vegetable can be:

½ cup (125 mL) broccoli florets
10 baby carrots
1 roma tomato
½ cup (125 mL) tomato juice
½ of a baked sweet potato
1 ear of corn

One serving of fruit can be:

1 medium banana
6 strawberries
1 plum
20 grapes
1 medium apple
1 medium peach

Consider using the PCRM's Power Plate while we wait for a revised Canadian food guide.

Food Guide Makeover

The Canada Food Guide with 5 servings of animal products recommended each day - who has room for veggies?

The Canada Food Guide could benefit from a makeover if Canadians are to live longer healthier lives. They suggest approximately 5 servings of animal products per day. The guide refrains from actually saying processed foods are not part of a healthy diet. They appear OK with eating some processed meats, refined and white grains (just keep it to half), and ingesting dairy (including high sodium cheese) every single day - even though most humans are intolerant, and dairy is the one of the most common allergens on the planet. Soy shows up in 3 out of 4 food groups despite also being a top allergen. This makes the 4 food groups appear nonsensical.

Was this guide created by dietitians? or industry? Even their specialized guides for different cultures appear to be created without good health in mind. With the bulk of first nations people being unable to digest dairy products without physical discomfort (over 75% are intolerant), it is notable that Health Canada's Food Guide for First Nations, Inuit and Metis says nothing about the genetic predisposition towards lactose intolerance, and actually encourages ingesting several servings a day with a small aside to try soy milk if you don't drink milk, making no mention of the growing number of alternatives for dairy.

Health Canada's Food Guide for
First Nations, Inuit and Metis

Check out this blog on The Real Aboriginal Canadian Food Guide:

We are working on providing a healthier, more inclusive and sustainable option with our Healthy People, Happy Planet Food Guide.

Meatless Monday

One day a week is a good place to start, and the City of Van leads the way!

As you may have heard, City of Vancouver proclaimed Monday June 10th, 2013 as the city’s first official Meatless Monday. Vancouver is the first Canadian city to do so.

A presentation to The Vancouver Food Policy Council by local author and Earthsave member Eleanor Boyle outlined scientific research showing the environmental problems of large-scale meat production and consumption. It was then discussed how the city could support the international movement for more sustainable diets, and decided to recommend that Vancouver adopt the educational initiative Meatless Monday. The city of Vancouver asserts that it is dedicated to developing food systems that are sustainable and that support community well-being; and is committed to its Greenest City Action Plan encouraging citizens to make choices that will add to environmental health. From a policy perspective, the Vancouver Food Strategy and Vancouver Food Charter say they have advocated for food systems that protect global resources and contribute to planetary health. Policy initiatives and educational programs such as Meatless Monday aim to educate global citizens to moderate their intake of animal-source foods. (click here for more)

This is an easy but powerful step we can all take to create a positive impact on the environment, our health, and the lives of animals. It’s voluntary and only one day a week, so why not give it a try? Besides - there is so much great veggie food in this town to explore!  Be sure to check out our Veg Directory for ideas on where to eat out for business lunches and date night.

Be the one at your workplace, school or community gathering to initiate Meatless Mondays and start something truly meaningful. Find handy resources including posters, stats and links on our MM site.

EARTHSAVE CANADA ~ Save the earth one bite at a time

Earthsave Canada is a Vancouver-based charity, helping people choose foods that benefit our health, the environment, and the lives of animals.

MAILING ADDRESS: Earthsave Canada PO Box 2213 STN Terminal Vancouver, BC V6B 3W2 | | 604-731-5885 

Charitable # 12995 4707 RR0001

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