PEI

How to make the Canada Food Guide more affordable

The number one criticism Health Canada officials are getting out of Canada Food Guide consultations is the concern about cost, and officials say they are working to address that.

Feedback has already prompted government to update recipes

Frozen foods are a more affordable option suggested in the Canada Food Guide. (CBC)

The number one criticism Health Canada officials are getting out of Canada Food Guide consultations is the concern about cost, and officials say they are working to address that.

A study out of Dalhousie University found cost to be a major concern about the guide.

Hasan Hutchinson, a special advisor on nutrition with Health Canada, said the guide, which was released in January, is still a work in progress.

Hutchinson is on a cross-country tour getting feedback on the new food guide. He's on P.E.I., the fifth province he's visited, this week.

The guidelines were designed with cost in mind, he said, but they have had to change some of the messaging connected with the guide, highlighting it's not just about eating fresh food.

"Some of these foods here are frozen, they are canned, they are dried," said Hutchinson.

Cost was considered in formulating the guide, says Hasan Hutchinson. (Matt Rainnie/CBC)

"Most of them can be available frozen, canned or dried as well, which can often be more cost effective."

Newsletters are available on the food guide website, and these are meant to help Canadians make sense of the food guide as it develops. The first issue last month was all about cost.

Hutchinson said Health Canada is fine-tuning the guidelines with the feedback they're getting at consultations and through comments on the website.

For example, he said, two weeks after the guide was released some recipes were updated after people wrote in saying they didn't taste very good.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Island Morning

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