There's A Tofu Shortage In Canada Thanks To The New Canadian Food Guide

The guide encourages Canadians to consume more non-meat protein.
There's A Tofu Shortage In Canada Thanks To The New Canadian Food Guide

Okay, I'm not giving all the credit to the new Canada Food Guide. The reason why there's often tofu in my fridge instead of chicken is thanks to documentaries like Cowspiracy, an eventual disdain for the current agricultural system, paired with an unshakeable fear for the future of our planet.

But the new Guide did makes some changes in terms of helping Canadians find new types of protein, and soy seems to be the favourite.

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TL;DR Two major Canadian tofu producers are having a hard time meeting demands in Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada as demand continues to increase after the release of Canada's new Food Guide.

After 11 years of zero changes, the new Canada Food Guide has eliminated the "milk and alternatives" category, greatly increased the fruits and vegetable category, and made a point of featuring a majority of non-meat protein-rich foods.

Because soy is so accessible, and so many Canadians are making the switch to a "flexitarian" diet that incorporates less meat and fewer animal byproducts, Quebec's leading soy producers are having a hard time meeting demands. 

According to Supermarche PA manager, Nick Lup, there has been a spike in demand since the new Food Guide was released. In an interview with CTV, he explained that alongside the increase in sales, people are coming in hoping to get more education in areas like legumes.

Part of the Guide also encourages consumers to consider the nutritional labelling on packaging and to get to know which category your foods fall under.

Over the last five years, sales of tofu have been increasing steadily in Quebec. And according to CTV, on average, the average person living in Quebec consumes "more tofu than the rest of Canada."

Quebec has two major tofu producers, Unisoya and Soyarie. The two producers supply retailers in Atlantic Canada as well as Ontario, and the neighbouring provinces have seen a spike in their tofu sales, as well. 

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Just as cannabis retailers have been expanding production to meet their demands in Canada, so too are the tofu producers. CTV reports that both Unisoya and Soyarie are in the process of expanding their factories to meet the demand of Canadians.

Oh, what a brave new world we live in.

I'd like to address that when it comes to the environment, soy also plays a dangerous role in impacting greenhouse gases and deforestation as well as hunger in many parts of the world. 

But the hope is that a move towards more local farming and the decrease in "meat" production (read: the cycle of animal breeding and slaughter for meat) will eventually mean less soy production as fewer animals being bred means less demand for feed.


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