Canadians are eating less beef, drinking less milk and soft drinks, and eating more flour-based carbs than they did 50 years ago, food data analyzed by CBC shows.
Canadians are eating less beef, drinking less milk and soda, and eating more flour-based carbs than they did 50 years ago, according to data analyzed by CBC News.
A more diverse population, changing health trends and a globalized food chain have changed Canadians’ palate in ways unimaginable in the ’60s.
“When you look at demographic changes, economic changes, trade changes and health messages, you understand food changes,” said Malek Batal, a professor of public nutrition at the University of Montreal.
CBC News analyzed Statistics Canada data on food availability in Canada since 1960, measured as the total retail weight of foods divided by the Canadian population. It does not show how much food was consumed, just how much was available to eat before waste and spoilage. (On average, every Canadian throws out close to 170 kilograms of food a year.)
But supply tends to follow demand, and changes in food availability hint at changing consumption patterns.
“It’s an indirect indicator of consumer trends,” said Evelyn Park, an analyst at Statistics Canada who studies food data.
Here’s what 50 years of food availability says about changing preferences….