'You Are What You Eat' and why that may surprise you

'You Are What You Eat' and why that may surprise you
Posted on March 10, 2017 | Ed Hand | Written on March 10, 2017
Letter type:

'You are what you eat' is the old saying, but what happens when 'what you eat' is not what’s on the label? And, what does that get you if 'you are what you eat'?

     In our world of 'farm to fork', '100 Mile Diet' and 'buy local', it seems the ability to eat healthy and organic is vanishing before our eyes with the help of Health Canada.

     That’s right. The people tasked with ensuring our food is healthy and safe has been turning a blind eye, and in some cases, bullying to get it’s way.

     You see, Dr.Shiv Chopra was a scientist at Health Canada for decades.  He proudly calls himself a “whistleblower” of wrong doing in the department.   His job is to evaluate Dr. Shiv Choprahealth implications of anything introduced to the food supply.  So, when he is pressured by a chemical company to approve a new antibiotic or GMO without supporting evidence, he rejects it.  Think of him as he gatekeeper of our food. 

You might think that would be the end of it, but no.  Then the pressure comes from a supervisor to approve it, who doesn’t have his scientific background.  Basically, just a bean counter.  Again, Dr.Chopra rejects it and in due course is fired, although it’s far from transparent what was the cause for dismissal.  Perhaps, you know the decade long story that has seen him darken the doorway of many courtrooms. 

You might think the questioning of his scientific ability, in particular by someone without those qualifications would be enough for him to walk away from the hassles.  Dr. Chopra isn’t going anywhere and he wants all Canadians to be able to know exactly what they are consuming. Under Canada’s Food and Drug Act, five items are being dumped in our food DESPITE them not being approved. Dr. Chopra refers to these items as the Five Pillars of Food Safety: Hormones, antibiotics, genetically modified organisms, pesticides and slaughterhouse waste

How does that make you feel as you tuck into that steak?  Just think about that for a second. The beef, dairy, poultry and pork Canadians eat have been fed what’s leftover after butchering, not to mention any animal at the plant that may have died. Add to that the euthanized dogs, cats and other pets from your local vet. By ignoring the regulations, what has been forever a herbivore is now a carnivore!

While you “digest” that, Dr.Chopra is making it his mission to get the five out of our food system.  He is now the Chair of the Canadian Council on Food Sovereignty and Health. The Council aims to turn the spotlight on healthy agriculture and farming practices for people, communities and future generations. 

The idea “germinates” at the Central Experimental Farm which has been under siege as of late.  A new Ottawa Hospital could be in the cards for it.  The Council’s vision is to utilize the unused property on the Farm for agriculture and “permaculture”, giving the community a consistent source of healthy local food.   The long game for the Council is to bring Ottawa students to the Farm to learn and experience agriculture and permaculture.  It would give them the grasp on growing healthy and eating healthy.  In a perfect world, all three levels of government and the school boards would jump on board to make it happen.

About The Author

Ed Hand's picture

Long time interest in city building and municipal politics, I have covered a lot of it in my 30 years in the media.  It's time to bring a bit of common sense to the table when it comes to running our city and... More