Including ground beef as a product subject to Health Canada’s front-of-package (FOP) labelling proposal goes against the spirit of the regulation, says Karine Rekunyk.
Rekunyk is a Registered Dietician who works as the Health and Nutrition Director at Canada Beef.
“About half of our calories are coming from highly processed foods — the kinds of foods we don’t want Canadians to eat more of,” she says.
“When Health Canada first put out the proposed regulations, their intent was to target the highly processed foods, and encourage Canadians to move to whole foods,” says Reg Schellenberg, President of Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA).
Hear Registered Dietician Karine Rekunyk, Director, Health and Nutrition, Canada Beef, on ground beef as an important source of nutrients and minerals.
Dr. Melanie Wowk, Chair of Alberta Beef Producers says it’s hard to understand where a single-ingredient, nutrient-dense food fits into that.
“Our concern is that, although Health Canada says that this is just supposed to be a guidance for Canadian consumers, that it can be extremely misleading,” says Wowk.
According to Rekunyk, only around five percent of our calories are from fresh and unprocessed red meats, and meat has an important place in the diet.
“Certain populations like seniors, and children, and women of child-bearing age have particularly high needs,” says Rekunyk. “In fact many of those demographics could benefit from eating more red meat, not less.”
“Let’s remember that we’re all struggling with food prices right now,” says Wowk. “Ground beef is a very affordable source of high protein and especially nutrients for growing children. If lower income families choose not to consume it, then what will take its place?”
Inspired to cook some ground beef? How about that feature image! You can find Canada Beef’s ‘Air Fryer Quarter Pound Beef Burger’ recipe here.