Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Health Canada says Nachos are Healthy

Even for Health Canada, this is astounding.

So apparently for the past few years Health Canada has had a program called the Healthy Cafeteria Program, which according to an internal document from Statistics Canada involves a program that,

"promoted offering more healthy choices or alternatives to the foods regularly served in workplace cafeterias. Besides providing employees with an environment that supports healthy eating, the Healthy Cafeteria Program also gave employees easy access to information necessary for making better food choices."
Sounds good right? It gets even better. Lorne Murphy foods, the company responsible for the cafeteria at Jean Talon and Statistics Canada were awarded the Eat Smart! Award of Excellence from the City of Ottawa for their adoption and promotion of healthy eating in the Jean Talon cafeteria through the Healthy Cafeteria Program.
"One of the goals of the Healthy Cafeteria Program was being able to obtain the Eat Smart! Award of Excellence. This award certifies that Statistics Canada and Lorne Murphy Foods Ltd. have met (and in many places, exceeded!) the nutritional and food safety standards of the workplace cafeteria program."
I'll get into how useless Eat Smart! is another day, but today let's focus on the green checkmark in screen capture above.

If you look back at the picture at the top of the post you'll see a little green checkmark next to the Nacho Supreme (you can enlarge it by clicking on the picture). According to the Healthy Cafeteria Program and Lorne Murphy Foods, winner of the Eat Smart! Award of Excellence from the City of Ottawa that little checkmark represents the day's entree that is "low fat" and presumably is the "more healthy" choice and an example of the stellar work being done by the Healthy Cafeteria Program and their collaboration with Statistics Canada and Lorne Murphy Foods in the promotion of healthy eating and the provision of information to employees to enable them to make "better food choices".

So how much of a better choise are these nachos? I emailed Lorne Murphy foods and they were kind enough to provide me with the nachos' partial nutritional breakdown,
"In response to your inquiry, depending on the toppings you have, you are looking at approximately 1000 - 1200 calories and up to 2000 mg of sodium per serving of Nacho Supreme."
If promoting a 1,200 calorie lunch with more than a full day's worth of sodium as a healthier choice doesn't scream out to Health Canada and Eat Smart! give me an award of excellence, then I don't know what does.

Good Lord!