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The creative ways countries around the world tackle food guidance




Canada’s Food Guide is getting its first major overhaul in more than a decade. The update has been in the works for years, and is set to be released in the coming months. 

This is what Canada’s food guide has looked like since 2007: 

Canada’s Food Guide provides food information for people at different ages and stages of life. (Health Canada/UN Food and Agriculture Organization)

While we wait to see Canada’s new guide, we checked out the nearly 100 that exist around the world from a list complied by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

There is a lot of detailed information in them. Most carry the same main messages:

  • Eat a variety of foods.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Get enough exercise.

And most tend to agree that eating more vegetables and whole grains is best, while consuming sugar and excessive fats — especially processed fats — is to be avoided. 

But countries can get pretty creative when it comes to getting that information across. 

Some food guides are shaped like buildings 

Cambodia’s guide is in the shape of an Angkor Wat — a temple complex in the country and one of the largest religious monuments in the world. The guide was developed with the help of schoolchildren, who were surveyed by the Ministry of Health about the foods they most commonly eat.

(Cambodia Ministry of Health/UN Food and Agriculture Organization )

Benin’s guide is a is a round traditional house with a thatch roof. The water in the entrance is there for two reasons: as a symbol of Beninese hospitality and a reminder that plenty of water should be consumed throughout the day.

(Benin Regional Health Institute/UN Food and Agriculture Organization )

China’s pagoda uses the traditional five levels to indicate how much of each food group to eat.

(Chinese Nutrition Society/UN Food and Agriculture Organization)

Others are shaped like foods native to the country 

Antigua and Barbuda uses a pineapple, while Qatar’s guide is in a seafood shell.

(Government of Antigua and Barbuda/UN Food and Agriculture Organization)

(Qatar Supreme Council of Health/UN Food and Agriculture Organization)

Most guides make daily exercise a main component

In fact, only 12 make no mention of physical activity at all. Korea’s is pretty blatant. 

(Health Industry Development Institute/Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN)

France has designed its guide as a staircase to hit home the message.

(France Ministry of Health/Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN)

Japan’s guide is in the shape of a spinning top — a traditional Japanese toy. It features a person running around a glass of water or tea on top, to represent the need for adequate physical activity.

Full Government of Japan credit: Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Food Safety and Consumer Affairs Bureau (Government of Japan/UN Food and Agriculture Organization)

There are countries with more than one guide 

And Canada is one of them. First published in 1942, Canada’s current guide is available in English and French, as well as 10 other languages, including Chinese, Arabic and Punjabi. There is also a version designed specifically for Inuit, First Nations and Métis.

(Health Canada)

Venezuela also has two food guides: one for the general population and one for the country’s Indigenous population. The main difference lies in the recommended protein sources, with a range of wild animals shown in the Indigenous one, and cuts of meat in the other.

(Bengoa Foundation for Food and Nutrition/UN Food and Agriculture Organization )

In famous form, one gets straight to the point

Sweden’s guide follows that aesthetic made so famous by Swedes (think Ikea!). 

(National Food Agency/UN Food and Agriculture Organization )

These two focus on how often to eat, rather than on how much to eat

Spain and Greece divide their pyramids into daily, weekly, and occasion consumption groups.

(Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition, Hellenic Ministry of Health/UNFOA )

And one has attracted widespread praise  

Brazil has been singled out by nutritionists and food scientists for its innovative approach. Instead of publishing a colourful picture of what you should eat more or less of, it has published guidelines around eating processed versus non-processed foods, and focuses on making choices based on social and environmentally sustainability.

(Brazil/UN Food and Agriculture Organization) 

And because the guide is long (152 pages) and not likely to be read by most Brazilians, the government has also helpfully narrowed it down into a short, 10-step plan.

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Post-vaccine surge? Michigan’s spring coronavirus case spike close to previous year’s autumn high





(Natural News) The spike in new Wuhan coronavirus infections recorded in Michigan over the spring is similar to a spike seen during the 2020 fall season. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the state’s daily coronavirus case count averaged more than 7,000 for almost two weeks – before taking a slight dip to 6,891 on April 20. This echoed similar figures back in November and December 2020, which saw sharp rises in infections for those two months before plunging.

Back in autumn of last year, Michigan averaged more than 7,000 cases per day for a span of 10 days. New infections dropped slightly, then briefly spiked as the December holidays approached. It then fell to the low 1,000s for the succeeding two months – until ascending again in March.

According to University of Michigan internal medicine professor Dr. Vikas Parekh, the sudden increase in new infections could be attributed to several factors. Among the factors he cited was re-openings, which increased people’s interactions and mobility. Parekh said the loosened restrictions contributed to the spread of the highly contagious U.K. B117 variant.

“As the B117 variant spreads nationally, we will likely see other stats [with] their own surges – although I hope none are as bad as Michigan,” the professor remarked. He continued: “The milestone just tells us we are not yet in the clear, especially as we still have large portions of our population who are not vaccinated yet.”

Parekh also expressed optimism over the lower daily caseloads the Great Lakes State reported. He said he believes both cases and hospitalizations have plateaued and will likely decline soon. The professor commented: “[COVID-19] positivity has been declining now for one week, which is usually a leading indicator of case decline.”

Meanwhile, the state cited younger populations and youth sports, such as basketball, wrestling and hockey, to increase new COVID-19 infections. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called to suspend youth sports and indoor dining in the state. She also exhorted high schools to conduct remote class sessions for two weeks to curb the spread of the pathogen.

Michigan still experienced the spike in cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country

During the opening stages of the U.S.’s immunization drive against COVID-19, Michigan boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates nationwide. A report by Bridge Michigan even noted the initial “frenzy for vaccines” that “far exceeded the state’s limited supply.” But things have appeared to turn around for Michigan, as it now struggles to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate needed for herd immunity.

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Scottish mom’s legs turn into a pair of “giant blisters” after first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine





(Natural News) Sarah Beuckmann of Glasgow, Scotland, felt a tingling sensation in her legs and noticed a rash flaring up around her ankles a week after getting her first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on March 18.

She also had flu-like symptoms right after the vaccination.

Beuckmann called her doctor to arrange an appointment the morning she noticed the rash, but by the afternoon her skin was already breaking out into blood-filled blisters. Blisters also appeared on her legs, hands, face, arms and bottom.

“I ended up asking my husband to take me to A&E,” said Beuckmann, referring to “accident and emergency,” the equivalent of an emergency room (ER). “When I got there, my heart rate was sitting at 160bpm, which they were very concerned about. I got put on an ECG machine.”

Doctors determine AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers the rash

Medics carried out tests for HIV, herpes and other skin conditions to work out what triggered the rash, but all results came back negative. Doctors finally determined that the vaccine caused her rare reaction after carrying out two biopsies.

“Once they found that it was a reaction to the vaccine, they put me on steroids and that really seems to be helping my progress,” said Beuckmann. She had been advised by her doctor not to get the second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine because of her reaction.

Beuckmann spent 16 days at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was discharged to recover at home. The 34-year-old mother of one is currently wheelchair-bound due to the bandages on her legs and blisters on the soles of her feet. She may need physiotherapy to help strengthen her leg muscles.

“They are starting to heal and they’re looking a lot better than they were but as the blisters started to get worse, they all sort of merged together,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

With the blisters merging, her legs have looked like a pair of “giant blisters.” Beuckmann admitted that at one point she feared her legs might have to be amputated.

Dermatologist agrees COVID-19 vaccine causes the blisters

Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and spokeswoman at the British Skin Foundation, agreed that Beuckmann had likely suffered a reaction to the vaccine.

“Vaccines are designed to activate the immune system. Occasionally people will have quite dramatic activation of their immune systems which, as happened in this case, can manifest in their skin” Wedgeworth told MailOnline. “This poor lady had a very severe reaction, which thankfully is extremely rare.”

It is not clear why Beuckmann, who works in retail, was invited for a vaccine. Scotland’s vaccine rollout was focused on people over the age of 50 when she got vaccinated, although vaccines are available to those who are considered at risk from the virus, or live with someone considered vulnerable.

At least 20 million Briton have had AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which drug regulators say causes a rash in one percent of cases. They say rashes caused by the jab tend to go away within a week.

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Trojan labs? Chinese biotech company offers to build COVID testing labs in six states





In 2012, BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company and equipment maker. The funds for the $117.6 million purchase were raised from Chinese venture capitals. The company has expanded its footprint globally. According to its website, BGI conducts business in more than 100 countries and areas and has 11 offices and labs in the U.S.

People are concerned about China’s access to American DNA data

Some said that with Complete Genomics providing an American base, BGI would have access to more DNA samples from Americans, helping it compile a huge database of genetic information. Some also worried about the protection of the genetic information’s privacy.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), BGI “has formed numerous partnerships with U.S. healthcare providers and research organizations to provide large-scale genetic sequencing to support medical research efforts,”

There are three main reasons why many people in the biotech community and government have expressed concerns about China’s access to American DNA data.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Evanina discussed the very likely scenario in which Chinese companies would be able to micro-target American individuals and offer customized preventative solutions based on their DNA.

Evanina asked: “Do we want to have another nation systematically eliminate our healthcare services? Are we okay with that as a nation?”

The second concern is that China may use DNA to track and attack American individuals. As the USCC report states: “China could target vulnerabilities in specific individuals brought to light by genomic data or health records. Individuals targeted in such attacks would likely be strategically identified persons, such as diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials or military leadership.”

The third concern is that China may devise bioweapons to target non-Asians. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, discussed it in his article “What Will China Do With Your DNA?” published by The Epoch Times in March 2019.

He wrote: “We know that the Asian genome is genetically distinct from the Caucasian and African in many ways. … Would it be possible to bioengineer a very virulent version of, say, smallpox, that was easily transmitted, fatal to other races, but to which the Chinese enjoyed a natural immunity? … Given our present ability to manipulate genomes, if such a bio-weapon can be imagined, it can probably – given enough time and resources – be realized.”

An article from Technocracy said: “China’s aggressive collection of American DNA should be doubly alarming because it can only spell one ultimate outcome: biowarfare. That is, genetically engineering viruses or other diseases that will be selectively harmful to U.S. populations.”

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