Fining A Mother For Sending An “Unbalanced” Lunch Shows The Need For Common Sense

Agriculture, Audio, Canada, Commentary, Frontier Centre

A rural Manitoba woman was recently fined $10 for sending her two kids to daycare with a lunch that was deemed nutritionally unbalanced according to Canada’s Food Guide.

The meal included roast beef, potatoes, carrots, an orange and milk. To comply with provincial rules, the daycare added Ritz crackers because a grain product was missing.

The Food Guide recommends that Canadians eat specific amounts of vegetables and fruits; grain; milk products; and meat.

There are some obvious problems with the Guide.

It fails to recognize similarities across food groups, and the vast difference between different foods within the groups.

One might substitute a grain with fruit, since fruits can contain as least as much dietary fiber as many grain products.

On the other hand, rye bread is more nutritious than white bread, and spinach is more vitamin-rich than iceberg lettuce.

Nutritional needs can also vary dramatically from one person to another because people have different body types.

We have a responsibility to see that children are properly nourished.

But the focus should be on basic food safety, and requiring food producers to do a good job of providing dietary information to consumers.

I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts on the Frontier.

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