To Whom It May Concern:
I am a twenty-one[now 22] year old student, and I am trying to eat organic, GMO-free, and healthily. Since I am from Canada, I expect that my country is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure the health, happiness, and success of its residents, especially those who are the future of the country.
According to their website, Health Canada, “Encourages Canadians to take an active role in their health, such as increasing their level of physical activity and eating well.” I assume this is a statement meant ironically. If the government were in-fact taking an active role, it would be ensuring that all Canadians, regardless of financial stature, would be able to afford the foods that promote a healthy lifestyle.
The cost of foods is different in each province and territory. Those in the arctic are faced with the tough decision of whether or not they can afford fruits – I expect that in Nunavut, but in Nova Scotia? Today I paid $8 for a small bunch of oranges. All Canadian citizens, regardless of where they are located, have the basic human right to food. If this were a federal prison, or a school lunch program, we would be disgusted by the prices and the availability of healthy options.
A mother or father on a fixed-income will have trouble affording healthy options for her family. More than that, they will be forced to make decisions that have been proven poor for their health. We are not talking about the decision of people who “do not know better”, we are talking about people who feel backed into a corner. Healthy lifestyles must be encouraged, and not discouraged based on “personal choices”. It is not a choice to not be able to afford outrageous prices, such as $8 a bag for apples – it is a fact, these prices are a gross injustice and they are infringing upon the rights of all Canadians.
If people who work full time jobs are unable to afford healthy foods, how do you expect those of us who are struggling to get by on our student loans? The government continues to support companies such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi Co, and other corporate monsters – instead, why don’t you work to ensure that these companies are not the go to.
We need REAL, NUTRITIOUS, and HOME GROWN foods.
Written August 13th, 2015 – part of this piece was published on the Chronicle Herald.