Nutrition North releases revised subsidy list

The federal government has presented a revised subsidy list for its Nutrition North Canada food program, and there are some surprising changes.

Cheez Whiz, bacon back on

The federal government presented a revised subsidy list for its Nutrition North Canada food program last week, and there are some surprising changes.

Cheez Whiz is back on the list, and so are other items the government had deemed less healthy, including sour cream and bacon.

Subsidies on those items were dropped when the Food Mail program was replaced by Nutrition North, which was meant to make healthier perishable food cheaper for northerners.

Soon, photos of the dropped items, including a $29 jar of processed cheese spread on sale in Arctic Bay, Nunavut, were causing a stir in the North.

The items will now be back on the list at a lower subsidy rate beginning in October 2012.

Stephen Van Dine, with the federal government, says they were too hasty when they first removed some items from Nurttition North Canada's subsidy list in October. (CBC)

"We were tempered, I guess a little bit, about how fast and how quickly we move and how aggressively we move towards the kind of items we have on the list," said Stephen Van Dine from Nutrition North Canada.

On the latest list, sugar, coffee and tea still don't get a subsidy, but fresh fruits and vegetables do.

Many people are happy with the new list.

"I think they are good, it tastes good, and is all right for you," one shopper told CBC News. "And it's only some who think it's not healthy. Others think they are, I think they are fine."

Earlier this month, Nutrition North launched two YouTube videos filmed in Iqaluit. The videos are part of its multi-million dollar education campaign to explain the subsidies and promote healthier eating.

The videos are available online in English and French only.

Officials with the program say they'll continue to listen to Northerners and hope to review the list annually.