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DISCUSSION #1 Your discussion posting should include the following:1) Should answer the chosen question from the listing below (2 marks)2) Should tie in materials from the assigned readings for that topic (2 marks)3) A reference list in APA format listing all references used in your response (1 mark) Unit 1: Basics of Nutritional Sciences The Canada Food Guide emphasizes the consumption of plant-based foods. One of the recommendations is to replace some of the animal proteins (Meat, poultry, eggs, cheese etc.) with plant proteins (beans, nuts etc.). Discussion 1 advantages and 1 concern with replacing animal proteins with plant-based proteins. Include in your answer why you see these as advantages and concerns. Discussion #2 Your discussion posting should include the following:1) Should answer the chosen question from the listing below (2 marks)2) Should tie in materials from the assigned readings for that topic (2 marks)3) A reference list in APA format listing all references used in your response (1 mark) Unit 3: Please listen to the All My Relations, Episode 2 podcast Food Sovereignty: A Growing Movement – https://www.allmyrelationspodcast.com. (listen to the first 25 minutes of the podcast: https://www.allmyrelationspodcast.com/podcast/episode/32c173eb/ep-2-food-sovereignty-a-growing-movement). A transcript of the podcast is available at: https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/all-my-relations/ep-2-food-sovereignty-a-gfTZ8V_pxDU/ The podcast hosts and guest (Food Sovereignty: A Growing Movement) reference the idea of taking your ancestors with you to the market or grocery store. What would your ancestors think of your diet today? Do you eat the same foods as your great-grandparents would have eaten, or how does it differ? DISCUSSION #3 Your discussion posting should include the following:1) Should answer the chosen question from the listing below (2 marks)2) Should tie in materials from the assigned readings for that topic (2 marks)3) A reference list in APA format listing all references used in your response (1 mark) Unit 5: Food Safety Food safety is important for everyone to be aware of. After reading through the information on https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/general-food-safety-tips/food-safety-you.html, discuss 2 food safety at-home tips that surprised you, including details on the changes you will now make at home to lower your risk of foodborne illness. READING Unit 1 Food Choices There are many factors that play a role in the foods we choose, such as: Availability: do you have access to certain foods at your local grocery store? Cost: is the foods affordable? Convenience: if you need to eat your meal at school or on the run, does the food meet that need? Emotional: e.g. ice cream after a break-up Social: e.g. wing night with friends Cultural factors: Ethnic foods Advertising / Food Marketing: Commercial makes you hungry, marketing makes links between a product and a certain lifestyle. Please visit and read the following Government of Canada website: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/healthy-eating-recommendations/marketing-can-influence-your-food-choices/ Habit: e.g. getting popcorn at the movies Positive association: Linking a food to a past experience (e.g. apple pie reminds you of dinners at Grandma’s house) Personal preference: you like the taste of a specific food over another so choose it more often Values or beliefs: e.g. choosing a vegan diet Health: Choosing foods that we perceive to be “good for us” Many of these factors will influence the foods that we choose, and we are often not even aware of the impact that these factors have. Please watch the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnVUI8SSM4g (Do We Control Our Food Choices?) Nutrient Recommendations Canada’s Food Guide (CFG) We often think that we know everything there is to know about choosing foods, but with the high number of choices available, it is easy to lose track of what individual foods contain, and how to put them together into a health promoting diet. The basis of Canada’s Food Guide is to highlight the characteristics of a healthy diet: adequacy, balance, calorie control, moderation, variety and nutrient density. Please view the following video: Characteristics of a healthy diet (small).mp4 Canada’s Food Guide is designed to promote healthy eating for healthy Canadians 2 years of age and above. Canada’s Food Guide uses the latest nutrition research to give Canadians clear messages about making healthy food choices, and support overall nutritional well-being. Read through the following sections about Canada’s Food Guide on the Government of Canada’s website: Canada’s Food Guide Snapshot: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/food-guide-snapshot/ Healthy Eating Recommendations: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/healthy-eating-recommendations/ Make Healthy Meals with the Eat Well Plate: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/tips-for-healthy-eating/make-healthy-meals-with-the-eat-well-plate/?_ga=2.162342844.1624052502.1499958649-955066057.1499958649 Please visit Dietitians of Canada’s Unlock Food website for an overview of the recommendations made by Canada’s Food Guide: https://www.unlockfood.ca/en/Articles/Canada-s-Food-Guide/Canada-s-Food-Guide.aspx Nutrition Labelling in Canada Standardized nutrition labels must be on almost all food packages in Canada. The purpose of this is to: standardize nutrition labelling and food claims help consumers make informed choices Almost all pre-packaged foods in Canada have a ‘Nutrition Facts’ table on their package, however there are a few products which are exempt (e.g. fresh vegetables and fruits; raw meat, poultry, fish and seafood; foods prepared or processed in store like bakery items; foods that contain very few nutrients like coffee or tea; and alcoholic beverages). The information that you will see on the Nutrition Facts table includes: serving size (the portion size of the food that the Nutrition Facts table information is based on) actual amount of calories and nutrients (total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, total carbohydrates, fibre, sugars, protein, cholesterol, sodium, potassium, calcium, iron) % Daily Value (can help you see if a food has a lot or a little of a nutrient [5% or less indicates that there is a small amount of that nutrient, 15% or more indicates there is a lot of that nutrient]). Please watch the following video on food labels in Canada: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKYdgETc_PI (Start with Serving Size – Healthy Canadians). Another component of nutrition labeling is the list of ingredients. All of the ingredients for a food are listed by weight, from the most to the least (the ingredient that is in the largest amount is listed first). A list of ingredients is present on all pre-packaged foods, and provides: allergy information certain nutrient information (e.g. if the ingredient list says shortening or partially hydrogenated, this typically means that the food product is a source of trans fats). Health Canada is in the process of making changes to the Nutrition Facts table and ingredient list on food labels to make them easier to use. Companies have been given a 5-year transitionary period to make the changes, which ends December 14, 2021. Please read the information on the following website: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-labelling-changes.html for more information on these changes, and view Figure 1 to see what the new Nutrition Facts table looks like, and Figure 2 to see an example of a list of ingredients. Food Allergy and Food Intolerance A food allergy involves an immune response to a food substance (specifically the proteins in that food). Please visit the Government of Canada website and read through the following resources: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/food-safety/food-allergies-intolerances.html https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-allergies-intolerances/food-allergies.html and https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-allergies-intolerances/avoiding-allergens-food/allergen-labelling.html Please also view the following video from the Government of Canada, highlighting the importance of the work that the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) does related to food allergies: https://www.inspection.gc.ca/about-the-cfia/science-and-research/science-videos/science-in-action/eng/1525791112231/1525791112746. Once identified, the only treatment for food allergies is to avoid the food and any foods that contain that ingredient. The food ingredient list on packages can be a source of information, Food intolerance does not involve the immune system. An example of food intolerance is lactose intolerance. Lactose intolerance is a condition characterized by impaired ability to digest lactose due to reduced amounts of the enzyme lactase. As we age, approximately 75% of the world’s population lose their ability to produce lactase and therefore their ability to digest lactose. Those of Northern European background have the lowest rates or lactose intolerance (only approximately 15% of the North European population are lactose intolerant). People with lactose intolerance experience some amount of nausea, pain, diarrhea and gas. The undigested lactose draws up water (causing diarrhea) and the bacteria in the colon use the undigested lactose for energy (causing gas and intestinal irritation). Many people can tolerate some lactose, only a rare few cannot tolerate lactose in any amount. Consuming lactose containing foods with meals can help, because food slows the transit of foods through the digestive tract. Yogurt and aged cheese are often tolerated because the bacteria or molds used to ferment these products digest lactose. Products treated with lactase (e.g., Lactaid milk) can be purchased, as can lactaid pills and drops, which replace the missing enzyme. Nutrition Quackery Everywhere you look, there is nutrition information being dispelled to the public (newspapers, magazines, infomercials, internet, etc.). Nutrition misinformation (also referred to as nutrition quackery) is a billion dollar a year industry. It is important to be able to tell if a claim is legitimate and be able to identify the characteristics of nutrition quackery. Please visit the following website for a review of characteristics of nutrition quackery: https://eatwelltobewellrd.com/10-ways-to-be-an-expert-at-spotting-nutrition-quackery/ If the nutrition information you are reading in a magazine or on a website contains some (or all) of these characteristics, likely the claim is quackery. Here is a great video from the UofM Libraries that explains ways to know if a source is reliable: https://youtu.be/-3wkcql6kXA Nutritionist versus Dietitian In Manitoba, the term “nutritionist” is not regulated, so the information that you receive from a nutritionist may or may not be accurate. The terms Registered Dietitian, Dietitian and RD are regulated in Manitoba by the provincial regulatory body, which is College of Dietitians of Manitoba [CDM]. CDM ensures continued competency of its members on an annual basis. To become a registered dietitian, you must complete an undergraduate degree in human nutrition and dietetics from a university program that has been accredited by the Partnership for Dietetic Education and Practice (PDEP), complete a supervised practicum in a health care setting, and then write and pass the Canadian Dietetic Registration Examination (CDRE). This ensures that the nutrition information you receive from a registered dietitian will be accurate. Registered Dietitians work collaboratively with other health care professionals as part of a health care team. Read through the following information: https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Find-A-Dietitian/Difference-Between-Dietitian-and-Nutritionist.aspx?ref=ql. References: Sizer, F., Whitney, E., & Piche, L. (2021). Nutrition concepts and controversies (5th Cnd. ed.). Toronto, ON: Nelson Education Ltd. Unit 3 World-wide, one in every five people experiences chronic lack of food on a daily basis. In many cases, those who are experiencing hunger live in countries that produce excess food, but do not have access. (Sizer, Whitney, Piche, 2021). Please view the World Hunger Map picture: https://docs.wfp.org/api/documents/WFP-0000108355/download/?_ga=2.238754176.1231598556.1597261616-473503138.1597261616 to see the distribution of hunger worldwide. The following are the definitions of some common terms related to food security: Food security: Access by all people at all times to nutritionally adequate, safe, personally acceptable foods from normal food channels. (Sizer, Whitney, Piche, 2021) Food insecurity: Uncertain or limited access to foods of sufficient quantity or quality. Access to foods of sufficient quality highlights that a person may have access to enough calories, but not necessarily enough nutrients. (Sizer, Whitney, Piche, 2021). Risk factors for food insecurity include anything that limits resources available for food acquisition, such as an increase in non-food expenditures, under-employment and poverty. Food insecurity leads to hunger, and hunger is a major health issue. Food poverty: Occurs in areas where there is enough food, however for some reason people cannot obtain it, and hunger occurs. Reasons can include war, political reasons, lack or resources (such as money or transportation). Hunger: According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, “Hunger is usually understood as an uncomfortable or painful sensation caused by insufficient food energy consumption. Scientifically, hunger is referred to as food deprivation. Simply put, all hungry people are food insecure, but not all food insecure people are hungry, as there are other causes of food insecurity, including those due to poor intake of micro-nutrients.” Famine: Extreme, widespread food scarcity which causes starvation in the area. (Sizer, Whitney, Piche, 2021). The four pillars of food security are: Availability: access to sufficient amounts of food at all times. This is affected by time of year/season, civil conflict/war, food preservation and supply. Accessibility: physical access and economic means to access food at all times. Accessibility is determined by entitlements (the bundle of resources needed to acquire food). Accessibility is affected by: market prices employment/funds ($) production and marketing systems gender and power relations within the household education transportation water sanitation 3. Adequacy- access to food that provides adequate nourishment and is safe. Adequacy is affected by: control over resources, nutrient content of the food/quality, knowledge of food/nutrition. 4. Acceptability- access to food that is: personally palatable acquired by a socially-acceptable means of obtaining food (e.g. some people may not want to accept foods from a food bank or beg for food even if hungry because this compromises their dignity) culturally appropriate A fifth pillar is sometimes included: Agency – encompasses the policies and processes that make food security achievable.(Source: https://www.ryerson.ca/foodsecurity/) Play the Food Security Quest game developed by Ryerson University: https://www.ryerson.ca/open-learning/modules/food-security-quest/. Please go through the game as all 4 characters and read through the information about each character’s unique risk factors at the end of each character’s journey. This game is designed to provide university students with an introduction to the topic of food security and the complexity of the issue. Learning goals of this game include: Develop an understanding of the complexities of food security beyond being able to access food. Develop an understanding of and empathy for the choices and difficulties faced by those living with food insecurity. World Hunger (source: Sizer, Whitney, Piche, 2021). Food Poverty is the primary cause of hunger in developing countries, however the poverty in developing countries is much more severe than what is seen in developed countries. Women and children are usually the most affected. Please view the following video from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations with world statistics on hunger: https://youtu.be/64KLuGzGxEQ. Some of the reasons of hunger in the developing world include: Regional quantity, quality and availability of food – e.g. drought preventing adequate food production in an area; can all people in the region access the available food? Discrimination factors that affect distribution – e.g. war; government corruption; unemployment and lack of borrowing power; racial, ethnic of religious discrimination. Individual household’s access to available food – e.g. transportation to get food; necessary infrastructure such as passable roads to food delivery. Access to clean water (in sufficient quantity) and health services (to prevent disease and illness) Individual childcare practices and knowledge (e.g. child fed while others in the family go hungry; knowledge of how to mix baby formula – if too much water is used, this will dilute the nutritional value, or using unclean water to mix formula) Inadequate food or nutrient intakes – causing malnutrition, weakness, disease (family may be too weak to compete for food) Ultimately disease conditions and malnutrition can worsen one another. This affects the life expectancy rates – in some African countries, the life expectancy averages 50 years of age. Two major challenges exist to banishing world food insecurity: Provide enough for the worlds expanding population, without destroying natural resources need for continued food production. Make sure everyone has access to this food. The world population is growing at a rapid rate. Every 30 seconds, 15 children die of malnutrition, while 125 are born. Every day, the earth gains 350,000 new residents to feed – most born into impoverished nations. (Sizer, Whitney, & Piche, 2022) When you look at the world food supply, enough food is produced to feed the entire current population, however many that are in need are unable to get adequate food, while others have an overabundance. Globally, there are approximately 800 million people who experience hunger and protein-energy malnutrition. However, there are over 1.1 billion people worldwide who are overweight/obese. There are many factors that affect the ability to eradicate hunger: please view the infographic from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i6887e.pdf. Water is an important resource that is needed in sufficient quantities across the world. Please see the following video for some of the solutions that the FAO is exploring: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHz0jPs5KQU Hunger in Developed Countries Although we often think of hunger as a problem only in developing countries, we are not immune to food insecurity in North America. About 1 in 8 households in Canada are effected by food insecurity. Please visit the following link from Statistics Canada for the stats on food security in Canada: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/en/pub/11-627-m/11-627-m2020007-eng.pdf?st=JUE0fYGO. Please watch the following video (An Introduction to Food Security by Mealexchange.com): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PE1-RYPJNdg. Although some of the information within the video is dated, the key concepts are still very relevant. The main cause of hunger in developed countries like Canada is food poverty. Please read the following handout on Food Insecurity in Canada from Dietitians of Canada: https://www.dietitians.ca/DietitiansOfCanada/media/Documents/Resources/Food-Insecurity_one-pager_Eng.pdf?ext=.pdf. Although enough food exists in the area, it cannot be obtained because of: Lack of Money: To buy nutritious foods and pay for other necessities like housing, clothing, medications, utilities… Often food is the sacrifice made. Political reasons: Up to 80% of hungry children live in countries that produce surplus food, but the decisions of policy makers in those areas, largely determines who in the population has access to the food. Countries of War: Food transportation may be limited. Also, have other concerns beyond hunger Lack of transportation: Can they get to a store to access food? Cannot Afford: may be on welfare (prices have increased, but welfare moneys have stayed fairly constant), or may be part of working poor (not on welfare because working, but pay too low to meet needs). To stretch meager food supplies, adults often: skip meals or cut their portions may be forced to break social rules: beg from strangers, steal from markets, scavenge through garbage cans, may even harvest dead animals from roadside. Can lead to dangerous food borne illnesses. may rely on foods with low nutrient density, but high calorie density, so calorie needs are met, but not nutritional needs. Inexpensive foods like white bread, mac and cheese, pastas. Diet tends to be low in fruit and vegetables, milk product and meats/protein. Single parent households can be at greater risk for food insecurity (Sizer, Whitney, Piche, 2021) Food insecurity can have many negative effects on health. Please read the following handout: https://proof.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/health-impact-factsheet.pdf, which shows that food insecurity at any level (severe, moderate, and marginal) increase the prevalence of most (but not all) chronic conditions in Canadian adults. Those living in food insecure households are also at greater risk for poor mental health compared to food secure Canadians, and this risk increases with the severity of food insecurity (source: https://proof.utoronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/mental-health-fact-sheet.pdf). Inequities can effect many aspects including food security. Please view the following video from the Public Health Agency of Canada: https://youtu.be/RMkBUXJLW9g. Food Loss and Waste in Canada According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (source: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/eccc/food-loss-and-waste/Taking%20Stock%20Report%20EN%20Final.pdf): Approximately 20% of the food produced in Canada (11 million tons) ends up being lost or wasted, meaning that instead of being eaten, it ends up in the landfill, as organic waste, or is incinerated. Analysis of food loss and waste in Canada, the United States (U.S.), and other developed countries shows that most of the food loss and waste occurs in households and in the food retail and service sectors. The hierarchy of solutions for food loss and waste from order of most preferred to least preferred are: Reduce (make changes to reduce the amount of grown and harvested food that is not eaten), Recover (donate surplus food or make animal feed or other products using the surplus), Recycle (use ingredients from the surplus food for non-food products like pharmaceuticals or cosmetics, make biodiesel or create compost), Dispose (send to landfill or incinerate). Food Loss and Waste from Farm to Fork Why Food Loss Happens Potential Solutions Production Marketing approaches and collaborations that promote field gleaning, and the sale of imperfect produce (some programs for this already exist, such as Second Life (Quebec), and Naturally Imperfect (Loblaws). Tax credits to encourage harvesting surplus crop for donation Support for innovations Research programs focused on things such as improving disease resistance Transport and Storage Various Canadian organizations provide guidance on supply chain challenges and proper storage Research on ways to improve shelf life, and prevent pest contamination Reduce the distance food travels, by buying local more often. Packaging, Processing and Manufacturing Providing resources to support food manufacturers on ways to reduce food loss. Tools to identify, track and reduce food loss. Innovative technologies (e.g. hyperspectral imaging to enhance sorting) Research on improved packaging options Regulatory approaches (e.g. in 2018, Ontario released the Food and Organic Waste Policy which sets targets for industry and commercial facilities to meet related to food waste). Wholesale and Distribution Inventory management Educate and build awareness – training and support Adopt monitoring systems Retail Sales Adequate training of staff Develop standardized operating procedures Packaging improvements to increase shelf life Discount and/or donate foods close to best before dates (e.g. FlashFoods app) Restaurants and Food Services Education: Training, resources, tool kits on how to reduce food loss and waste Ensure proper storage and inventory practices Households and Consumers Watch the following video: https://youtu.be/S1TOYdQZu0E and read the information on the following website: https://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/recycling-organics-garbage/long-term-waste-strategy/waste-reduction/food-waste/ View the following Infographic from Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: http://www.fao.org/3/a-c0084e.pdf (Ways to reduce food waste) Food Security in Manitoba We are not immune to issues of food insecurity in Manitoba. The following infographics provided up to date statistics on the prevalence of food insecurity in Manitoba: https://foodmattersmanitoba.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Food-Insecurity-Infographic-1-experience-2020-FINAL.pdf, causes of food insecurity in Manitoba: https://foodmattersmanitoba.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Food-Insecurity-Infographic-2-Causes-2020-FINAL.pdf, and ways to address food insecurity: https://foodmattersmanitoba.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Food-Insecurity-Infographic-3-solution-2020-FINAL.pdf. Please view the following videos produced by Food Matters Manitoba: Part 1 Experiences: https://youtu.be/65aQ9Uos3xc Part 2 Causes: https://youtu.be/yAAXCxXbt0c Part 3 Solutions: https://youtu.be/84A0Gv4puBw Canadian Programs that Promote Food Security National food recovery programs involve the collection of wholesome foods for distribution to low-income people who are hungry which would otherwise have gone to waste. Second Harvest food rescue is an example of a food recovery program that operates in Toronto: https://youtu.be/DtxHnPDiE_M. This type of program helps to keep food from going to the landfill and instead be used by those in need. Four common methods of food recovery are: Field gleaning: collecting crops from fields that either have already been harvested or are not profitable to harvest. Perishable food rescue or salvage: collecting perishable produce from wholesalers and markets. Prepared food rescue: collecting prepared foods from commercial kitchens. Non-perishable food collection: collecting processed foods from wholesalers and markets. Local efforts: Food recovery programs depend on volunteers. Concerned citizens work through local agencies and churches to feed the hungry. For example, soup kitchens serve prepared meals. Other community programs include: Food Banks: provide groceries and food. Food bank use in Canada is increasing. The following video from Manitoba Harvest outlines the number of people it helps each month, the effects that Covid-19 are having on food bank use, and the top 10 items that are needed for donation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w93_F2EtR8Y. Community kitchens are programs were individuals come together to prepare meals that they can take home to their families. Typically, ingredients for set recipes are provided. Winnipeg Harvest, for example, runs a community kitchen, serving meals to volunteers (Currently this program is on hold, due to Covid restrictions). Other programs in Canada include: https://youtu.be/A7has5blEJs in British Columbia and Community Food Centres Canada which supports programs across Canada, including NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre: https://norwestcoop.ca/community-food-centre/about/ in Winnipeg. Community gardens are typically grown on donated plots of land, and typically the supplies and seeds are donated to a community group as well. The participants are responsible to care for the garden and benefit from the yield of produce. Rainbow Community Garden in Winnipeg is an example: https://knoxwinnipeg.ca/community-rainbow-gardens/. Other programs in Canada include http://www.thetablecfc.org/article/our-community-gardens in Ontario and https://youtu.be/GBkzpC-jL3w in Quebec. School feeding programs provide meals, such as breakfast and / or lunch, to children at school. In Manitoba, the Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba supports breakfast, snack and lunch programs in Manitoba schools: https://www.gov.mb.ca/healthyschools/foodinschools/blsp.html#:~:text=The%20Child%20Nutrition%20Council%20of,to%20provide%20nourishment%20to%20students. Food Share programs: An example of a food share program in Winnipeg is Fruit Connect (http://www.fruitshare.ca/home-2/fruit-connect/). People with fruit trees can register to have people come and pick the fruit from their trees. Fruit pickers can register to pick fruit. The fruit picked is then shared equally between the owner, picker and community groups that accept local fruit. In information video about Fruit Connect can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTA_bXiqIo0&t=5s. Other examples across Canada include Mealexchange: https://www.mealexchange.com/ and Foodshare: https://foodshare.net/. Other programs like the West Broadway Community Organization Good Food Club empower residents to improve their food security: https://westbroadway.mb.ca/programs/good-food-club. Community Green House Projects, Community Food Producers Co-Ops, Community Bee Keeping Projects, Traditional Food and Land Base Projects. E.g. In Northern MB, Poplar River First Nation – Negginan Food Producers Co-op, Leaf Rapids MB Grow North Boreal Horticulture Project, Dauphin River Bee Keeping Project. http://www.nmfccc.ca/stories.html References: Sizer, F., Whitney, E., & Piche, L. (2021). Nutrition concepts and controversies (5th Cnd. ed.). Toronto, ON: Nelson Education Ltd. Indigenous Food Sovereignty Indigenous food sovereignty is an important issue in Canada. The following section of notes has been prepared by Tabitha Martens, who is a mixed ancestry Cree woman and PhD student in Interdisciplinary Studies (Social Work & Native Studies) at the University of Manitoba. Her area of focus is Indigenous food sovereignty and wellbeing. Learning Objective The learning objective for this section is to explore concepts related to Indigenous food and well-being through a living process called Indigenous food sovereignty. Background Indigenous food sovereignty is a way of life, a movement, and an ethos that describes Indigenous peoples’ reclamation and resurgence of self-determined, traditional food systems. Historically, Indigenous food systems were plentiful. While fluctuations in food occurred due to weather and changes in migration patterns of animals, hunger prior to the colonization of Canada was not a major issue for Indigenous communities. Importantly, an Indigenous food system consists of all living and non-living things, including relationships between people, place, and food. It is a spiritual system and also includes language, ceremony, teaching, learning and sharing. Thus, Indigenous food sovereignty is more about systems of food and the relationship between food and people. The colonization of Canada resulted in a colonized food system. A colonized food system was forced upon Indigenous peoples in Canada (though similar stories exist for Indigenous peoples throughout the world) through the deliberate eradication of the bison, beaver, salmon, and cedar. These species are sacred and carry relationships within families, cultures, and communities. Historically, they were also a form of currency between and within nations. By eliminating key species that were central to Indigenous diets, starvation was introduced to communities to coerce Chiefs into signing treaties and thus, remove any claims Indigenous peoples had to the land. Treaties were meant to end the starvation by providing rations to communities; these rations were part of a European food system and included pork and flour. Today we know that same flour and pork contributes to diabetes. Starvation was rampant in prairie communities and in many cases, the rations that were promised through the treaty process were withheld and/or rancid. Thousands of Indigenous peoples died. Hunger is a weapon, a tool used by governments to oppress and eliminate Indigenous peoples, bodies, and cultures. Today, it continues in the rates of food insecurity Indigenous experience, both on and off-reserve. Further challenges include residential schools, where food was withheld from students. According to the TRC, the majority of students were not provided with nutritious or substantive diets. Again, students experienced rampant rates of hunger and coupled with disease and loss of family and culture, thousands died. The impacts of these losses are still present today through food insecurity, but also through a break in traditional knowledge, sharing, ceremony, and economic challenges and trauma. PART A: Please listen to the All My Relations, Episode 2 podcast Food Sovereignty: A Growing Movement – https://www.allmyrelationspodcast.com. (listen to the first 25 minutes of the podcast: https://www.allmyrelationspodcast.com/podcast/episode/32c173eb/ep-2-food-sovereignty-a-growing-movement). Here is a link to the transcript of the podcast: https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/all-my-relations/ep-2-food-sovereignty-a-gfTZ8V_pxDU/ PART B: Read Martens, T. R. (2018). Responsibilities and reflections: Indigenous food, culture, and relationships. Canadian Journal of Food Studies, 5, 9-12. https://canadianfoodstudies.uwaterloo.ca/index.php/cfs/article/view/216 Many of the challenges with our food systems today stem from the lack of connection we have to the land. As long as food is separated from the land- as it is presented in many grocery stores- there is less of a connection to, and indeed a responsibility for the land. Many people are unaware or overwhelmed at the prospect of a troubled food system. And yet, we all believe in clean air, water, soil, plants and animals. Our desire is to be free of the hazards of the land: pollution, eutrophication, contamination, and extraction. Unfortunately, these are common occurrences today and the challenges disproportionately faced by Indigenous peoples. Indigenous Food Sovereignty in Manitoba The Northern Manitoba Food, Culture, and Community Collaborative (NMFCCC) (http://www.nmfccc.ca/) works to improve access to healthy foods, and support stronger, healthier communities. Below are two videos describing programs of Community Partners of NMFCCC that are working to improve Indigenous Food Sovereignty in Manitoba: https://youtu.be/DDnQZRlN0no https://youtu.be/KCpySU_ffUY For further reading if you are interested in learning more about this topic (these readings are optional): Coté, C. (2016). “Indigenizing” food sovereignty. Revitalizing Indigenous food practices and ecological knowledges in Canada and the United States. Humanities, 5(3), 57. https://doi.org/10.3390/h5030057 Daigle, M. (2019). Tracing the terrain of Indigenous food sovereignties. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 46(2), 297-315. https://doi.org/10.1080/03066150.2017.1324423 Delormier, T., Horn‐Miller, K., McComber, A. M., & Marquis, K. (2017). Reclaiming food security in the Mohawk community of Kahnawà: ke through Haudenosaunee responsibilities. Maternal & child nutrition, 13, e12556. https://doi.org/10.1111/mcn.12556 Elliott, B., Jayatilaka, D., Brown, C., Varley, L., & Corbett, K. K. (2012). “We are not being heard”: Aboriginal perspectives on traditional foods access and food security. Journal of Environmental and Public Health. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/130945 Morrison, D. (2011). Indigenous food sovereignty: a model for social learning. In H. Wittman, A. Desmarais, & N. Wiebe (Eds.), Food sovereignty in Canada: Creating just and sustainable food systems (pp. 97-113). Fernwood Publishing. Robin, T., Dennis, M. K., & Hart, M. A. (2020). Feeding Indigenous people in Canada. International Social Work, 0020872820916218. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0020872820916218 UNIT 5 Learning Objectives After completion of this unit, you should be able to: Distinguish between a hazard and a risk. Classify a variety of hazards as physical, chemical (natural, synthetic, chemicals formed during processing, and environmental contaminants) and biological hazards (microbial). Distinguish between an infection, intoxication and toxin-mediated infection. Explain the factors affecting microbial growth. For the major biological hazards, norovirus, listeria, salmonella, E. coli O157, campylobacter, and Clostridium botulinum, describe the conditions suitable for their growth, the type of illnesses caused, and the symptoms of these illnesses. Explain the role of consumers in minimizing their risk of foodborne illnesses. List the laws that govern food safety in Canada. Explain how food additives, genetically engineered foods, and the use of allergens are regulated in Canada. Course Notes (Author: Dr. Snehil Dua, PhD) Canada has one of the safest food supplies in the world, but the food safety here too is far from perfect. See the infographics (PHAC, 2016) shown below: Are you surprised that an estimated 4 million people in Canada get sick due to the consumption of unsafe food? Hazard vs risk Hazard and risk are often used interchangeably, but there is a significant and meaningful difference between the two terms. A hazard is anything that has the potential to cause harm. Are the following things hazards/ Cars on the street while you cross the street The roof of a building falling The bone in a chicken drumstick you are eating for lunch Each of the above can be a hazard. A car can hit a person, so it has the potential to cause tremendous harm. The roof of a building if collapses, can cause tremendous harm to the occupants. The bone in the chicken drumstick can choke a person. Risk: A risk is a combination of the likelihood that a hazard will cause harm, and the severity of the harm caused by the hazard. Risk is quantified by research and experimentation. Risk = exposure x intensity of harm Exposure = probability of the hazard occurring Harm intensity = How much harm to our wellbeing is caused should the exposure occur. So, a car on the street while you cross the road can cause serious injury (high intensity of harm), but because you and the car driver will follow the rules, the probability of you getting hit by the car is quite low. Thus, under normal circumstances, crossing the road is not a high risk activity. Now, if the car driver in driving under the influence of alcohol (not following the rules and laws), the risk increases. This is an example how, the risks from a hazard is reduced. In this case the exposure to the risk is reduced by educating public, making crosswalks/corridors, signals, speed limits, driver licence requirements, and punishments for driving under influence or doing distracted driving, etc. We will focus on hazards and risks related to food; we will now talk about food safety. What types of hazards may be present in the food? 1. Physical 2. Chemical 3. Biological Physical hazards: Sharp physical objects present in the food can cause injury to our body. They may also contaminate our food with germs. Examples: a piece of broken glass jar accidentally present in the food, can cause an injury. A hair in the food is a physical hazard that may not cause injury but may contaminate the food with germs etc. What can you do to minimize the exposure to the following physical hazards in the food you are preparing at home? Your hair Bandage from a wound you might have used on your hand injury. Chemical hazards: Chemical hazards can be Naturally occurring chemicals in foods Additives: Chemicals intentionally added to the food to enhance the quality of the food in certain regard. Adulterants : Chemicals intentionally added to the food to deceive the consumers. Adulteration is a criminal offence in Canada. Residue: Chemicals that are intentionally used at certain stage of food processing but are not intended to be a part of the food. Contaminants: Chemicals to which the food was unintentionally exposed. Chemicals naturally present in food, natural toxins: some examples are given below. Solanine: The compound (insoluble and heat stable) is produced by the plant as natural fungicide and pesticide. It develops in and close to the skin (sprouted eyes). Green parts and sprouted potatoes, leaves of tomatoes and potatoes contain high levels of solanine. Notice that it is heat stable thus can’t be destroyed by cooking. Green and sprouted parts of the potatoes should not be consumed. Glucosinolates (and goitrin): Also known as goitrogens because it can lead to goitre (enlargement of the thyroid gland). Present in Rapeseed, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, swede/turnip, calabrese/broccoli and Chinese cabbage, radishes, mustard seed and horse radish. High temperatures (i.e., cooking) inactivate the goitrogenic substances. Phytates: It is an effective chelator of divalent cations such as zinc, copper, iron, magnesium and calcium. It forms phytate-mineral complexes which are insoluble in the intestinal tract, reducing mineral bioavailability. It is found in bran and germ of many plant seeds and in grains, legumes (soybean) and nuts. This is one of the reasons why mineral availability from plant foods is low. Psoralens: present in parsnip and celery, especially in damaged tissues. Heat sensitive and water soluble. Carcinogenic in high doses. Don’t live on celery and parsnip. Cook the parsnip. To become a significant risk, we would have to increase our consumption of parsnip and celery 30 times than what we consume on average. Toxins produced while processing/cooking food: Some examples Acrylamide: The compound is created when starch and an amino acid called asparagine combine during high-temperature cooking or heating for extended lengths of time (Maillard reaction).It may be carcinogenic (cancer causing). Avoid overcooking starchy foods like burnt toast or dark brown french fries/chips. Heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAAs): Can be carcinogenic (limited evidence). Chemical reactions of amino acids or proteins at high temperature with reducing sugars (all monosaccharides and disaccharides except sucrose, Maillard reaction). Protein-rich foods of animal origin including cooked meat, fish, poultry and gravies and sauces derived from pan residues and scrapings of cooked meats. Barbecuing, pan frying and grilling produce more HAAs than roasting and baking. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs): They are formed from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels such as wood, coal and oil. Cooked or smoked meat or fish, Smoked or cured cheese. when grilling, prevent the dripping of meat fat onto the fire. The smoke thus produced will contain high concentrations of PAHs Food additives: a number of natural and synthetic chemicals are allowed to be added to the food processed by the food industry. These are called food additives. Food and Drug Act (a federal law) has created a positive list of such chemicals which specifies which chemicals can be be used in what amount in which specific foods for what specific purpose. “Positive list” means that only the chemicals and their specific applications are allowed and anything that is not listed is not allowed without special permission. A few guiding principles of allowing these additives in foods are Safety of additives should never be in doubt Additives must have useful function Additives must not diminish nutritional value, nor compensate for improper manufacturing, or inferior product characteristics in a deceptive way Use for another purpose represents adulteration and may be fraudulent Additives must be detectable by a defined method of analysis Chemical residues and contamination: Some examples are given below: Pesticide and other agricultural chemical residues: Government has established regulations for such chemicals. These regulations allow only selected chemicals to be used in agriculture. For example, DDT can’t be used in Canada. The government has also established guidelines for proper use of these chemicals such that excess doesn’t enter our food supply. Maximum residue levels (MRL) have been established for these chemicals and any food containing higher than MRL would be removed from Canadian markets. Do you think it is important to consume organic foods to reduce the risk of toxicity to these chemicals. Organic food is the food to which no synthetic chemicals have been applied, has not been given hormones, vaccines, or antibiotics. Accidental contamination: Cleaning supplies spill or mix up, improper use of cleaning supplies. Please follow instructions for proper use of disinfectants in the lab. Do not place cleaning supplies near food. Properly label the cleaning supplies in your kitchen. Here is a piece of interesting news, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/lethbridge-pregnant-mother-sarah-douglas-mcdonalds-latte-cleaning-1.4769286 Biological hazards: Biological hazards can be some bacteria, fungi (molds and yeast), viruses, prions or parasites (protozoa or insects). Not all microbes are harmful for human health. Only 4% of all bacteria are pathogenic (disease causing), and some are even helpful to human health (probiotics) and/or in food processing. Some bacteria may cause food spoilage such that it appears, smells and tastes bad, but may not cause illness. While, many harmful bacteria may not have any effect on the appearance, taste or smell of the food. When harmful microbes are present in the food ingested, this can cause foodborne illnesses. Populations with weaker immunity may get sick with even a small number of these microbes in the food. Populations more vulnerable to these illnesses are children, pregnant women, elderly people and people with compromised immune systems such as people suffering from AIDS. But foodborne illnesses can affect everyone. Approximately four million people experience such illnesses in Canada every year. Majority (60%) of these occur from restaurant cooked meals and most others occur from home cooked meals. To reduce the burden of such illnesses, we all must take food safety seriously. As a consumer, we must purchase food from safe sources, store the food safely, cook the food safely, handle the food safely and store the leftovers safely. Foodborne illnesses are classified as infections, intoxication and toxin induced (or mediated) infections. When microbes are ingested and they survive the acidic environment of our stomach, they reach the small intestine. Once absorbed into the blood, they cause harm to the body tissues and organs. This is called an infection. When microbes produce toxins in the food, and such food is ingested, this toxin causes harm to our tissues and organs. This is called an intoxication. When microbes are ingested with the food and produce toxins in our gut, it leads to toxin induced infection. The symptoms of intoxication appear within a few hour of ingestion, and are often vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain. This is because when toxins are detected in the stomach, the body’s response is to flush this toxin out by reverse peristalsis. Profuse and prolonged vomiting can be life threatening. Some toxins may cause severe damage to the body, ex. Botulinum (also used in botox treatment) is a neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. This is the most poisonous substance known to mankind and can be fatal in very minute amount. The symptoms of infection and toxin induced infection may take longer 24-72 hrs (generally) to develop as it takes time for the microbes to grow to large enough number in the human body before the symptoms appear. Often the symptoms are diarrhea, gas and abdominal pain but various microbes may cause a variety of other symptoms as well. To minimize the risk of harmful microbes in our food, we must understand the conditions microbe require to grow. These are explained below: Water activity: All microbes require adequate available water for their growth. A measure of available (free) water is water activity (Aw). It is the ratio of the vapor pressure of a food and the vapor pressure of pure water under identical conditions. Most harmful bacteria need at least 0.90 water activity but some can grow at Aw as low as 0.86. Fungi can grow at much lower water activity as well, some can grow up to 0.7. Below 0.6 Aw, no microbial growth occurs. Temperature: Microorganisms can be classified into three groups according to their growth temperature domains: Psychrophiles grow well at 7 °C or below and have an optimal growth temperature range of 0-15°C; mesophiles grow well between 20 and 45 °C and have an optimal growth temperature range of 30–40 °C; and thermophiles grow well at 45 °C or higher and have an optimal growth temperature range of 55–65 °C. Psychrotrophs can grow in psychrophilic conditions but they grow the best in mesophilic environment. Most foodborne pathogens are mesophilic microorganisms, with exception of Listeria monocytogenes, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Clostridium botulinum type E, which have markedly psychrotrophic behavior. What is optimal temperature? It is the temperature at which the microbes multiply the fastest. What is minimum growth temperature? The temperature below which the microbes will NOT grow at all. Maximum growth temperature? The temperature above which, the microbes will not grow at all. Thus, 4oC to 60oC is called the temperature danger zone as most harmful microbes can grow within this range. Some microbes produce spores (endospores) which are dormant forms of the vegetative cells and can withstand much harsher physical and chemical conditions than can the vegetative cells. Thus, spores may survive temperatures higher than 100o C. In certain cases, the food needs to be heated beyond 100o C to destroy these spores or some other conditions must be made unfavorable for these spores to germinate. Potential of hydrogen ions, pH: pH is a measure of alkalinity or acidity. 7 is neutral, below 7 is acidic and above seven is alkaline. Most microorganisms grow better in pH values close to 7.0, although a few can grow in pH values below 4.0. Bacteria tend to be more sensitive to pH than filamentous fungi and yeasts, and pathogenic bacteria are even more sensitive. Spoilage microorganisms of the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) group, for example, may grow in pH values as low as 2.0. Pathogenic microorganisms, such as C. botulinum, will not grow in pH values below 4.6. Because of its pathogenic potential, pH 4.6 is used as a limit for a food to be classified as of low acidity (>4.6) or high acidity (<4.6). Yeast and fungi can grow at much wider pH range, 2-11. Oxygen availability: Some microbes are obligate aerobes, that is they need oxygen to grow; some are obligate anaerobes, that is they cannot grow in the presence of oxygen; some are facultative anaerobes, i.e. they can grow in anaerobic environment but their optimal growth is in aerobic environment; and some are facultative aerobes, that is they grow better in the absence of oxygen but can also grow in the presence of oxygen. Most pathogenic bacteria are aerobes but some like Clostridium botulinum are obligate anaerobes, and some like Listeria monocytogenes are facultative anaerobes. Bacteria grow the fastest in high protein foods such as milk, eggs and meat. These foods have ample free water available and have pH close to neutral. Potentially hazardous foods (PHFs) are the foods that support bacterial growth because they’re rich in protein and have high moisture content. These foods need to have their time and temperature watched very carefully to keep bacteria from growing, producing toxins and producing spores. Potentially hazardous foods include: Moist foods with a pH above 4.5, Dairy products, Meat, fish, poultry and eggs, Some raw vegetables and fruit (e.g., bean sprouts, garlic in oil and cut melon), especially those that won’t be cooked. Nutrients Chemotrophs vs Autotrophs: Chemotrophs obtain their energy from chemicals (organic and inorganic compounds). Autotrophs produce their own food from carbon dioxide. The chemotrophic microbes may obtain food from carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. When they breakdown carbohydrates in the absence of oxygen, it is called fermentation. Fermentation leads to the production of acids or alcohol. Bacterial fermentation yields acid, while yeast fermentation produces alcohol. When microbes breakdown lipids with the help of water (hydrolysis), it leads to the production of free fatty acids. The free short chain fatty acids are malodorous (bad smelling). Thus the product will smell bad/stale. This is called hydrolytic rancidity. When microbes breakdown proteins, that leads to putrefaction. Putrefaction is the decomposition anaerobic splitting of proteins by bacteria and fungi with the formation of foul-smelling incompletely oxidized nitrogenous compounds. Food composition can also impact the growth of microbes. A food high in starch will promote the growth of microbes that favor carbohydrates, such as Bacillus cereus. This illness caused by this bacterium is often known as Fried rice syndrome because often when people get sick after eating unsafely store fried rice, the bacteria implicated in the illness is B. cereus. Many bacteria prefer high protein foods such as meat. Thus until recently most of the food-borne outbreaks used to occur by consuming unsafely prepare/stored animal products such as beef burgers, chicken, cheeses etc. In recent times we have seen an increase in such outbreaks from contaminated produce (vegetables and fruits). The reason for that is that there are more opportunities in todays extensive supply chain for the produce to come in contact with animal products during production, transportation and storage. So even though most pathogenic bacteria do not grow well in vegetables and fruits, these foods are often now implicated in many outbreaks. Food structure The more ground the food is (e.g. ground beef), the higher is the surface area. The higher the surface area, the more is the exposure to the air. The more the exposure to air, the more is the availability of oxygen and exposure to the contaminant. Thus, the higher the surface area, the faster will the microbe grow. Foodborne illnesses, a summary. Below, I have summarized the causes, symptoms, and factors contributing to the common foodborne illnesses. This will help you determine how you can minimize the risk of developing these illnesses, when preparing, storing and handling food. Please note that people with a weaker immune system are more likely to get sick but everyone is at risk. Elderly people, pregnant women, children, malnourished people and people with immunodeficiency disorders like AIDS have a weaker immunity. Salmonellosis: It is an infection caused by some strains of bacterium Salmonella enterica. Salmonella is aerobic bacteria that do not produce spores. These microbes, if ingested will multiply in human intestines and will generally cause symptoms like diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. If not treated promptly, the microbes will enter the bloodstream and will cause harm to the other parts of the body. This can be fatal. These microbes are present in the intestines of warm-blooded animals, like poultry, cattle, and pigs. Thus meat contaminated with these bacteria, if not cooked properly can cause the illness. Since these bacteria do not produce spores, these can be destroyed by adequate cooking. Please see the following link to determine safe internal temperatures while cooking meat: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/general-food-safety-tips/safe-internal-cooking-temperatures.html?_ga=1.213087252.1699799383.1403726368&wbdisable=true Safe internal temperatures If the raw meat comes in contact with other food like vegetables and fruits, these bacteria will survive on such food. Such food, when consumed without proper washing, can cause the infection because such foods are often consumed without/with very little cooking. How can you prevent the cross-contamination when you are storing and handling the food? Botulism It is an intoxication caused by the neurotoxin, botulinum, produced by bacteria Clostridium botulinum. C botulinum is a mesophilic, spore-producing obligate anaerobe. To destroy the spores temperatures higher than 116oC are required. The bacteria and their spores cannot grow below pH 4.6. The neurotoxin, botulinum is one of the most potent toxins known to humankind, and thus in canning, the goal is to prevent the formation of this toxin in the cans. Consumption of an extremely small amount of this toxin can cause illness and can be fatal as well. Infants have low acidity in their stomach and thus these bacterial spores can survive their stomach acidity which leads to the growth of these bacteria in their intestine, and production of the toxin in their digestive tract. Thus infants can get sick by ingesting the bacteria even though the bacteria did not produce the toxin in the food. Thus, honey should not be fed to infants as the bees might have carried the bacterial spores and contaminated the honey. The symptoms may develop within 36 hours and include, Double vision, droopy eyelids, difficulty speaking and swallowing, difficulty with breathing, and paralysis. If untreated promptly, this can lead to death as well. Listeriosis It is an infection caused by bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, which are non-spore forming psychrotrophic, facultative anaerobes. They grow rapidly at refrigeration temperatures and can continue to grow at 0C. The bacteria are present in soil, water and feces. Food contaminated with the bacteria can continue to grow even when stored in the refrigerator. Ready to eat meat stored beyond the expiry date may contain high number enough of the bacterial cells to cause illness. Pregnant women infected with this bacterium may transfer it to the newborn, which may cause spinal cord and brain damage (meningitis) in the newborn. Thus pregnant women are advised not consume soft cheeses as such foods permit the growth of listeria. Illnesses caused by Escherichia coli Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a bacterium that is commonly found in the gut of humans and warm-blooded animals. Most strains of E. coli are harmless. Some strains, however, can cause illness. Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (E. coli), or ETEC, is an important cause of bacterial diarrheal illness. Infection with ETEC is the leading cause of travelers’ diarrhea and a major cause of diarrheal disease in lower-income countries, especially among children. ETEC is transmitted by food or water contaminated with animal or human feces. Another pathogenic type of E. coli is Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). These can cause severe foodborne disease. It is transmitted to humans primarily through consumption of contaminated foods, such as raw or undercooked ground meat products, raw milk, and contaminated raw vegetables and sprouts. STEC produces toxins in the intestines, known as Shiga-toxins because of their similarity to the toxins produced by Shigella dysentery. STEC can grow in temperatures ranging from 7 °C to 50 °C, with an optimum temperature of 37 °C. Some STEC can grow in acidic foods, down to a pH of 4.4, and in foods with a minimum water activity (aW) of 0.95. STEC is destroyed by thorough cooking of foods until all parts reach a temperature of 70 °C or higher. E. coli O157:H7 is the most important STEC serotype in relation to public health; however, other serotypes have frequently been involved in sporadic cases and outbreaks. Symptoms of the diseases caused by STEC include abdominal cramps and diarrhoea that may in some cases progress to bloody diarrhoea (haemorrhagic colitis). Fever and vomiting may also occur. The incubation period can range from 3 to 8 days.Most patients recover within 10 days, but in a small proportion of patients (particularly young children and the elderly), the infection may lead to a life-threatening disease, such as haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS). HUS is characterized by acute renal failure, haemolytic anaemia and thrombocytopenia (low blood platelets). In this condition, the red blood cells die very quickly which clog of the nephrons (nephrons filter blood to remove waste including urea through urine) in the kidneys. Staphylococcus aureus infection Staphylococcus aureus is a common bacterium found on the skin and in the noses of up to 25% of healthy people and animals. Staphylococcus aureus is important because it has the ability to make seven different toxins that are frequently responsible for Staphylococcal food poisoning.Staphylococcal food poisoning is a gastrointestinal illness. It is caused by eating foods contaminated with toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus. The most common way for food to be contaminated with Staphylococcus is through contact with food workers who carry the bacteria or through contaminated milk and cheeses. Staphylococcus is salt tolerant and can grow in salty foods like ham. Staphylococcal toxins are resistant to heat and cannot be destroyed by cooking. Foods at the highest risk of contamination with Staphylococcus aureus and subsequent toxin production are those that are made by hand and require no further cooking. Some examples of foods that have caused staphylococcal food poisoning are sliced meat, puddings, some pastries, and sandwiches. Staphylococcal toxins are fast-acting, sometimes causing illness in as little as 30 minutes. Symptoms usually develop within one to six hours after eating contaminated food. Patients typically experience several of the following: nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. The illness is usually mild and most patients recover after one to three days. In a small minority of patients, the illness may be more severe. Norovirus Norovirus is one of the leading causes of foodborne illness. It is a virus and thus requires a host to grow on. It is transmitted by from contaminated food or water, an infected person, or by touching contaminated surfaces. Norovirus causes inflammation of the stomach, intestines or both. This is called acute gastroenteritis. This leads to stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Anyone can be infected with norovirus and get sick. Often people do not see a doctor because the symptoms subside within a few days in most cases. But on cruise ships, doctors are on board. When people get this infection on a cruise ship, they get medical attention, and they are also more likely to transmit it to the people on the ship. Due to these reasons, outbreaks are often reported when people on a cruise ship get ill, hence this illness is sometimes referred to as Cruise ship illness. Foods commonly involved in outbreaks include leafy greens (such as lettuce, spinach), fresh fruits, shellfish (such as oysters). However, any food served raw or handled after being cooked can get contaminated. Prions diseases A prion is a type of protein that can trigger normal proteins in the brain to fold abnormally. Prion diseases can affect both humans and animals and are sometimes spread to humans by infected meat products. Types of prion diseases related to food include: Variant CJD. Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is an infectious type of disease that is related to “mad cow disease” or Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in the cattle. Eating diseased meat may cause the disease in humans. The meat may cause normal human prion protein to develop abnormally. Kuru. This disease has been seen in New Guinea. It’s caused by eating human brain tissue contaminated with infectious prions. Because of increased awareness about the disease and how it is transmitted, kuru is now rare. Prion diseases occur when normal prion protein, found on the surface of many cells, becomes abnormal and clump in the brain, causing brain damage. This abnormal accumulation of protein in the brain can cause memory impairment, personality changes, and difficulties with movement. Experts still don’t know a lot about prion diseases, but unfortunately, these disorders are generally fatal. Food safety for people who suffer food intolerances and allergies In CHO chemistry lecture the difference between allergies and intolerances was illustrated with the examples of lactose intolerance and milk allergy. People may have other intolerances and allergies. Allergy symptoms include hives, rashes, fever, sneezing, swelling of inner membranes leading anaphylaxis which can cause death. Thus allergic reactions can be life threatening. Abstinence is the only way to prevent allergic reactions. There is no cure for allergies but some allergies do resolve over time after a long period of abstinence, but not always. Allergies may develop adulthood as well contrary to the popular belief that they always begin in childhood. The Food and Drug Act of Canada and now Safe Food For Canadians Act (SFCA) lists eleven priority allergens which if present in food must be declared on the food label. See the link to find out which allergens must be declared on the labels of food sold in Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-allergies-intolerances/avoiding-allergens-food/allergen-labelling.html Allergens and gluten source labelling Whose Responsibility is Food Safety? Food safety is everyone’s responsibility. Infographic by Canadian Public Health Association (source: https://www.cpha.ca/who-responsible-food-safety-canada Federal Government, the has a ministry of Health called Health Canada. They set the policies and standards. Many of these policies and standards define what is safe enough to be sold in Canada. Many laws are in place to set these standards. The main laws that are govern food safety are Food and Drug Act and its regulations, and Safe Food for Canadians Act and its regulations. Another federal agency, Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) enforces all federal laws all over Canada. They ensure that industry is in compliance with the food safety regulations through inspections. They also lead investigations when a food-borne illness outbreak occur anywhere in Canada. They also initiate food recalls if an unsafe or non-compliant food has entered the Canadian market; domestic as well as imported food. Public Health Agency Canada (PHAC) is another federal agency that conducts public health surveillance and determines the impact of any hazards on human health in Canada. This is the Agency that is monitoring and studying the spread of Covid 19 in Canada. They are responsible for the surveillance of not only food borne illness but all infectious diseases. CFIA gets a lot of help from provincial governments and municipal governments as provincial and municipal governments help regulate federal laws in their own jurisdictions. Industry: Food industry includes food producers, transporter, distributors and retailers. Under federal laws, food industries are required to have food safety systems in place. Some of these requirements have been mandated in the new law (SFCA). The implementation of this law is being carried out in a phased manner as of today. The industries under this and other laws are required to produce food safely and remove any food produced by them that may be unsafe. Consumers: We have the responsibility to handle, cook and store food safely. For consumers, CFIA and other government bodies have created guidelines for safe food handling. Please go to https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/general-food-safety-tips/food-safety-you.html to find out what you can do to reduce your risk of foodborne illnesses.