Farms Before Pharmaceuticals

Nathan Wild

In Canada, the Public Health Agency estimates that chronic diseases cost Canadians $190 billion annually. Yet we only spend 5.1% of total health expenditure on public health activities that promote healthy lifestyles and prevention of long-term chronic conditions.

Behavioral patterns, such as diet and lifestyle, have been show to have the biggest impact on determinants of early deaths compared to all other factors - including genetic predispositions. (1)

This means that our healthcare system is completely backwards. The truth is, many of the chronic diseases that plague Canadians can be prevented and managed through a diet rich in fresh nutritious whole foods. And the freshest and most nutritious whole foods come from community and regionally-based farmers who value soil fertility, biodiversity and environmental sustainability.

If the government spent more on promoting and supporting healthy eating, local agriculture and soil health it would save an enormous amount of our tax dollars and improve the lives of millions of Canadians. We need more farms, not pharmaceuticals.