Many people with a preference for natural health and additive-free foods have reduced consumption of animal-based dairy products considerably over the last few years. Animal-based dairy products are known to contain hormones that are carcinogenic, processed with other ingredients harmful to health, and dairy is illness-producing for many people. Lactose intolerance is but one issue yet many other illnesses can be virtually eliminated by not consuming animal-based dairy products. 

The schoolyard bully the U.S.A. elected as their president has made a big show of blaming Canadian tariffs for the failure of their cow-based dairy industry while ignoring these facts below.

The dairy industry in the U.S. and other countries are facing decreased sales due to a rising demand for plant-based varieties of milk, cheese and other traditional dairy foods. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, organic cow’s milk is in such oversupply that manufacturers are scrambling to turn it into other products. Its short shelf-life is especially challenging and the drop in demand has caused some companies to send cows to early slaughter in an effort to recoup some losses. U.S. overproduction is not Canada’s fault.

For years, the health benefits of consuming dairy products made from nuts, grains and other vegetarian sources have been featured across all media. Now, most food retailers carry plant-based dairy milks made from almond, coconut, and soy (the most popular versions) giving consumers greater choices to suit individual lifestyles. In health food stores one can find milks manufactured from quinoa, pecan, and rice while the industry continues to develop new plant-based dairy foods.

The numbers suggest it’s not just those who are lactose-intolerant that are making the switch to plant-based milks across North America.

Mintel.com released a report on the U.S. Dairy Industry in January this year which stated that non-dairy milk sales have grown 61% in five years, and they projected total sales of plant-based milks were estimated to reach $2.11 Billion USD in 2017. Their press release noted that almond milk has a 64% market share, followed by soy milk at 13% and coconut milk at 12%.

This June, The Guardian commented on what they called the “US-Canada Milk Trade War” and an interesting fact is given: “Trump has attacked Canada’s protected dairy industry before, calling it a ‘disgrace’ and blaming it for widespread hardship among U.S. farmers. Although the entire trade in dairy products between the two countries is worth less than US$600m.”

According to the U.S. Dairy Export Council, in a document entitled “April Exports Surge to All-Time High” and dated April 2018, the report opens with this statement, “On a total volume basis, U.S. dairy exports were at an all-time high during April. Exports surpassed the previous record set just one month prior in March 2018.” At the web site, one can learn that in 2016 “Total value of U.S. dairy exports were $4.8 billion.” 

This doesn’t sound to me that their dairy exports are suffering.

In reading news accounts of the “trade war” the Canadian dairy industry is recognized and lauded for being stable, paying our dairy farmers excellent wages, and ensuring Canadians have ample supply by utilising Just In Time (JIT) practices similar to those used in other manufacturing sectors such as the auto industry. Is it Canada’s fault that the U.S.A. chooses to govern their dairy industry differently, and less successfully?

Canadians may pay more for milk and cheese here than our American neighbours but as a proud Canadian I certainly prefer to support my dairy industries if it helps to stabilize our economy and pay fair wages to our farmers and agricultural workers. Maybe the U.S.A. needs to overhaul their system, or elect a president that can create solutions to their problems instead of blaming trade woes on their friendly neighbours to the north… or the south, or their friends in other parts of the world.

Verbally assaulting our prime minister, and suggesting Canadians are dangerous to U.S. security is what is called deflection, presumably as an attempt to turn away scrutiny of his own deficiencies and inability to capably perform the job to which he was elected. We’ve seen his behaviour played out on the world stage and in his own country. Apparently this big show of bullying Canada was to show the North Korean dictator what a tough guy he is. He and his followers should Google “toxic masculinity”.

If the now tiresome Trump-nado of bullying arrogance and ally-bashing doesn’t dissipate soon, Canada’s economy could be negatively impacted.

Many people around the world and in his own U.S.A. thought his antics towards Canada comparable to stomping on a kitten and expressed great support for Canadians. We know that millions of Americans have great affection for Canada, its people and our values and this is generally reciprocated by most Canadians in all provinces.

Some Canadians are choosing to boycott American goods but considering the pervasiveness of Americana in our culture that’s unlikely to last. A better approach is to do our best to keep all Canadian industries thriving by supporting them and purchase a greater variety of products manufactured or grown in Canada.

 

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