My Side of the Fence

Pop or Milk?

  • Peter de Jong, Author
  • Dairy Farmer, Southeastern Manitoba

Many people spend the summer weekends at the lake and in Manitoba’s great parks; a hidden secret for most people in rest of the world, who seem to not know about them. A couple of years ago, my cousins from Pennsylvania, coming for a family visit, showed up in full winter gear at the Winnipeg airport. The common knowledge seems to be that we drive snowmobiles in August. We have one of the best summers on record, despite the heat on some days, with less mosquitoes and not a lot of rain. We’ve spent many summer nights outside on the deck.

However, most people don’t follow the government changes in our food guide for 2019; it was a surprise to me that pop and chips are marked as healthy food, and milk is off the table.

This is breaking news, where stupidity takes over from common sense! For more than 5,000 years milk from cows, buffalo, and caribou made up our basic foods of cheese, yogurt and butter. (Even greasing our winter clothes to protect from harsh winds.) We live in a world where world domination of global US companies controls Ottawa’s civic servants, influencing the Canadian Food Guide. Pepsi and Coca Cola are world dominant, controlling our future children what they eat and drink. Pop and Chips.

You can go into any government funded building; you will find vending machines from one of these companies. School milk gets banned from public funded buildings, thanks to the new food guide. Canadian Food Inspection Agency, (CFIA), has demanded a $10,000,000 study to be done by CFIA to prove milk is healthy. Farmers do not have this kind of money. Pepsi and Coca Cola do, so they funded the study for CFIA. The result is that pop and chips show up as healthy, in the new Canadian Food Guide. Stupidity has taken over common sense!

Farmers pay out taxes, the government spends it accordingly. Large US-based companies do not pay taxes in Canada, do not have factories in Manitoba. Dairy Farmers have six or more factories in Manitoba, nearly to all of Manitoba’s milk is processed in Manitoba. These factories create jobs, pay taxes and support local economy.

Milk is, absolutely, a healthy drink! You can buy 1L pop at your local convenience stores/gas bar and pay more than 1L of milk. (For example, a single 355ml Red Bull is $2.99. Purchase 10 for $29.90 and you have 3.55L. In contrast one 4L milk is $6.00).

It increases our heath care bill, if our kids can only access pop and chips. The US-based pharmacy companies benefit from this. I am not starting a conspiracy plot. All the studies in China show when the country was not open to Western pop and chip companies, the children were much healthier prior to 2015, the year the study was conducted. The obesity rate of their children increased 1,000 times more when Pepsi and Coke and other companies entered the Chinese market. Similar studies conducted in Mexico reveal the same results – children without teeth at an age of thirteen from drinking only pop.

Pulling milk out of schools is one of the worst decisions CFIA has made. This is only because the Dairy Farmers of Canada didn’t have the money to give to them, to conduct a study. Please note, every ten years studies are done, by universities across the country, showing the health benefits from drinking milk. Now CFIA, who’s mandate is to oversee the Food Guide, no longer accept studies done by university’s leading professors and the world’s best laboratories across the country. They want their own study financed by farmers. As farmers we note that the CFIA does not have the knowledge, nor the professors and/or laboratories, to do a proper study.

Why is Canadian tax money spent twice in an organization? This is like our Phoenix pay system, a disaster and nobody is accountable by our current government.

As a dairy farmer, I see the writing on the wall. Common sense disappears when stupidity takes over by our government. Nobody takes any responsibility or accountability. Talk to your MP about this. I know it is hard to talk to them directly after passing three security checks at the local office. Emails are mostly responded to with contact information as to who to address, but never answer your questions. Our previous government officials always responded directly.

Enjoy the rest of a great summer and drink a cold, tall glass of milk!