BUTTER OIL FOR THYROID HEALTH
My father was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism in February 2008. We had already been getting raw milk and eating a WAPF diet, so continued with that. In the summer of the same year (your summer) my parents went on holiday to the US and Canada. They ate raw dairy wherever they could. I also sent them raw butter and cheese.
On returning to New Zealand Dad definitely looked better and had put on some weight. He saw his specialist and his levels of T3 and T4 were starting to come down. We continued with the raw milk.
In May 2009 I discovered that we could buy fermented cod liver oil here so bought some instantly! Dad’s levels of T3 and T4 continued to improve after starting on the cod liver oil and his specialist lowered his medication. But the thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) refused to budge from less than 0.01.
When we could no longer get the regular fermented cod liver oil, I switched us all to the cod liver oil and butter oil blend. This was near the end of last year. Approximately three months later Dad went to see his specialist—the TSH levels were starting to increase!
Dad visited his specialist again a couple of months ago and found that his TSH level was now 0.45! Now all his levels are in the normal range, and his medication was lowered again. We are thrilled. I’m sure the raw dairy and the regular fermented cod liver oil all helped, but things really seemed to get going when Dad changed to the combo with the high-vitamin butter oil.
On a separate subject, thank you for your Ask the Doctor article on eczema (Fall, 2010). I had absolutely awful eczema on my hands for a few years. As with your correspondent in the column, the only thing my doctor could offer was a steroid cream. I used this for a while but wasn’t keen on continuing. I tried a few natural remedies but nothing could keep it away. Then I tried the Itch Calm Cream from Artemis (www.herbalmedicine.co.nz) with fabulous results. It did take a while (probably about six months) and the eczema got worse to begin with, but I did have very bad eczema. I continue to use it in a few stubborn areas twice a day but the rash is 95 percent gone. I highly recommend it!
Tauranga, New Zealand
IODINE SUPPLEMENTS TOXIC?
Thank you for your article on the iodine debate (Summer, 2009). On this issue, I side with Dr. Alan Gaby and the findings of Weston Price, in that healthy people had relatively low iodine intake. In any event, these healthy people were not taking iodine supplements.
I am sure the healthy body can excrete excess iodine, but that is not the issue. The real issue is whether the iodine in supplements is obtained using a toxic kerosene-like substance, which causes adverse health problems. What exactly is used to extract iodine for supplemental use? That is the question that needs to be answered.
AN EASY PREGNANCY
When my pregnant daughter Amanda visited her obstetrician, the doctor became upset with her because she was not taking pre-natal vitamins. Amanda responded that she was taking cod liver oil and eating liver, plus other good foods, but the doctor thought that she was not getting enough folate and ordered extensive blood work to see what was wrong and how to “fix” it.
A week later my daughter returned, and the doctor was shocked at how great Amanda’s blood work was. Everything was perfect. She then asked Amanda where she got her cod liver oil, because she was going to start telling her patients to use it. I was over the moon when I heard that.
Amanda is now with a midwife and is planning a homebirth, with the obstetrician as backup. The midwife was impressed with the “strong healthy heartbeat” of Amanda’s baby. And my daughter is experiencing a very easy pregnancy. Must be all the cod liver oil, eggs, pâté, and raw milk.
A recent paper from UC, Davis examined the “frothing” characteristics of milk in cappuccino. I buy local raw milk from Jersey cows for my family, but it never froths well in my electric heater-frother. When a neighbor brought his conventional milk over (whole, organic UHT pasteurized and homogenized), it created a mound of froth in one frothing cycle. I was so impressed by the difference that I sought out some answers.
My reading revealed the reason why UHT treated milk froths better, and in the process I better understood the benefits of drinking and using raw milk as a staple in our diet.
Raw milk allows the activity of natural lipase, an enzyme that breaks apart dietary fats. This means the fat in the milk is broken down into the easier-to-digest free fatty acids. For people with weak digestion or difficulty digesting fats (such as those with prior gall bladder removal), this higher free fatty acid content will be better absorbed and tolerated. But, the higher the levels of free fatty acids in milk, the less it froths.
Lactalbumin (whey) protein is the dominant protein that produces the froth, and when this protein is denatured (broken down), it froths more. High heat and pressure cause these proteins to denature. Thus UHT milk froths better than simple boiled or scalded milk, but boiled milk froths better than raw. When milk is heated, the heat-labile proteins are the ones to break down. These fragile proteins include immunoglobulins, bovine serum albumin, and alpha-lactalbumin.
Casein is the least susceptible to breakdown by pasteurization. While enzymes and immunoglobulins in the milk are denatured, the more difficult to- digest protein, casein, is left intact. This enhances frothing, but complicates digestion and allergic reactions to the milk.
In raw milk, proteolysis of casein caused by the natural protease in milk will result in the presence of smaller protein fragments of casein. These small peptones (proteins from casein) reduce frothing capacity. But as we hear more and more about casein allergies, we realize that allowing the natural protease to act on the casein reduces the allergenicity of the milk protein.
In summary, I generally want my milk raw because it has natural lipase and protease activity and the delicate whey protein and immune factors remain intact. But all these beneficial attributes get in the way of my milk froth experience. My solution? At the moment, I have tea with raw honey and raw milk in front of me. Café au lait may replace my cappuccino for a while. Just a little insight from a raw milk advocate and occasional cappuccino drinker.
Richard Maurer, ND
A SILVER LINING
Thank you for working to change Organic Valley’s anti-raw milk policy. Because of this very same issue with Foremost Farms, our farm went “rebel” almost six months ago. We were told to stop selling raw milk “or else.” We chose the “or else” and told Foremost “bye-bye.” It was the best decision we have ever made.
In Illinois it is legal to sell raw milk to the customer so we do, many, many times each week. Our customer list grows and grows. We are not selling all our milk yet, but that is just fine because what is left over goes to our thriving pig herd. The hogs are then sold to the restaurant trade in Chicago. They rave it is the best pork they have ever had. We cannot keep up with the demand for our milk-fed pork.
So all is well down here at South Pork Ranch because Foremost became paranoid about our farm supplying a great product to those who craved it. These mega companies seem determined to keep shooting themselves in the foot. Fine with me—no skin off my bucket of milk. “Diversify and conquer” is our new farm logo.
Donna O’Shaughnessy and Keith Parrish
NO BOYCOTT PLEASE
I have a one hundred percent grassfed (only hay over winter) organic dairy farm. When we became certified organic ten years ago, we put up a small cheese plant and for the first years, made all the milk from our eighteen to twenty Jersey cows into raw milk aged cheese. After a few years the state milk sanitation department asked us to not sell to our biggest customer because he refused to get the proper permit to repackage and sell cheese. Without the cheese sales to him, we had surplus milk and began selling to Organic Valley, which we still consider to be an excellent co-op.
When the co-op decided to not allow milk diversions, we at first considered downsizing our herd and just selling cheese, but because the market in our local area is flooded with farmstead cheese, we instead decided to sell the cheese business and increase our dairy herd to make up for the income loss. We found a buyer and sold the business and equipment to a cheese customer.
My reason for writing is that I appreciate that the Weston A. Price Foundation is working with Organic Valley to encourage them to reconsider their position. I encourage this. I have also written them letters. However, as a farmer who has been affected by the new rule, I would also like to discourage any boycotts or mudslinging. I have been hearing talk of a national boycott of Organic Valley brand. I am convinced that sort of action can only hurt the entire organic movement. I definitely believe they made the wrong choice. However, we need to work together despite differences and appreciate the common ground we have. I consider Organic Valley to be one of the most honorable and well run organizations I have ever worked with. They also tend to be a little ahead of the organic rule regarding pasture requirements. I certainly agree that the “no milk diversion for a business” policy has seemed out of character for what I know of them. But I am convinced that a boycott of Organic Valley (which has an excellent reputation as a small organic co-op) would, at the least, cripple the growth of the organic movement. If Organic Valley is not to be trusted, who in organics will the consumer trust?
Mountain Meadows Farm Richfield, Pennsylvania
AN ISSUE OF LIABILITY
I am writing in concern over your decision to ask your members not to support Organic Valley products due to their position on raw milk sales. We are Organic Valley Dairy Producers in Illinois. Your decision hurts all the other producers with Organic Valley whether we sell raw milk or not. It is not that Organic Valley is against raw milk sales, it’s the liability they face if one of their farms causes illness. You can’t sit in Washington and tell me that every farm that sells raw milk is high quality and safe. Unless you’ve investigated each and every site on your web page, how can you honestly say that?
On our farm, we do sell raw milk to a few relatives and neighbors. This is legal in Illinois, and Organic Valley is okay with this. These customers are only people we trust, and they trust us to produce milk that is healthy and safe. The problem is that the farmer faces all the liability if something goes wrong. Once it leaves the farm, you have no control over how quickly the milk is refrigerated or if the containers it went into are clean.
Asking members to not support Organic Valley products hurts all of the farmers who work so hard to produce their products. When sales drop to a low level, a supply quota will be automatically implemented on the dairy farmers to produce less milk. This, in turn, causes financial strain on us. Not all Organic Valley dairy producers agree with raw milk sales; some of us do, but in a limited capacity. The farms that want unlimited raw milk sales should terminate their agreement with Organic Valley and go out on their own.
Also, another factor in all of this is the federal and state milk inspectors who will target those facilities that allow raw milk sales. If Organic Valley openly promotes raw milk, every inspector around will be after their farms. If you fail a government inspection for any reason, you cannot sell milk to anyone. The farmer is at the mercy of the inspector’s view, and we all know how the government feels about raw milk. You have to understand how your view hurts so many more than it helps. Why is it that the farmer takes all the risk and only a few reap the rewards? If a vote were taken by our co-op, half of the farmers would vote against raw milk sales, half for it. Why is it wrong for Organic Valley to protect all of their producers?
We are fifth generation Illinois dairy farmers. We would not be farming any longer if Organic Valley hadn’t been able to take on our farm in 2002. We could not pass on our farm to our sons for the sixth generation. We ask that you reconsider your decision, remember those of us who are affected directly by it, and find another way to make your point.
Delmar and Theresa Westaby
The recent Virginia Independent Consumers and Farmers Association meeting at the Farmers’ Market in Virginia Beach was interesting and enlightening. Members from as far away as Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania came to discuss their trials and tribulations as small independent farmers. It was a shock to learn just how very difficult it is to be a small farmer nowadays.
A friend observed that eating good quality food such as products grown by small independent farmers is an investment in health. You can either buy good quality food, he said, or pay higher bills when you visit the doctor. These days, there are many people who share those views. They are probably among the folks who frequent the farmers’ markets in Virginia Beach.
The late father of a friend of mine was a CIA agent stationed in South America. He said that in the last days of the USA, there would be the appearance of freedom but not its actual substance. His remarks came back to me as I listened to the farmers’ tales of woe. One of the first complaints of the farmers to me was that they felt that farms were being centralized (as in a Communist system). And my concern is that collectivization will be next.
As you know, the test of private property is whether you can do what you want with your property. It is painfully obvious that farmers and dairymen have lost ownership of their farms and livestock as the government and big agriculture bear down on them with excessive and punitive regulation. For example, in Virginia, goat owners who wish to give or sell their goat to a neighbor must now register their premises with the government, and tag and number the goat. If a chicken trespasses on a neighbor’s farm, the chicken’s owner will be fined. If a small independent farmer wishes to sell pieces of meat from an animal he has raised, he must drive as far as six hundred miles to the USDA-inspected butcher to have the animal slaughtered. Of course, the price of gas will be passed on to the consumer.
As I am sure you have noted, USDA inspection is no guarantee that the meat will be free of cancer or blood clots. There are plenty of cancerous chicken parts for sale in the grocery store. I’ve seen them. The only way to get around the USDA is to sell the animal live and have a butcher hired by the new owner to kill it.
And here’s the most ridiculous part: home pickling remains banned on the theory that the food might spoil. How sad that cucumbers have become controversial.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
STEADY WITH THE LARD
In the late winter of 2009 my hands developed a mild tremor that became progressively worse over the next six months or so. The shaking, which eventually became nearly constant, was severe at times, especially when I was doing something intentional, like trying to scratch my nose or hold something still. I am an artist and need steady hands in order to create paintings.
In the 1980s, after years of poor eating habits, I began to correlate a variety of health problems, including hand tremors, with my diet and slowly began eating healthier food. When my hands began to tremble, I experimented with additional changes. Although I didn’t drink much coffee, I stopped drinking it entirely. I also began taking additional B-complex vitamins, over and above that supplied in the multivitamin I was taking. Slowly, over the course of several months, the tremors went away.
But the shaking of my hands returned in early 2009. At the time, I was eating a very “good” diet, including lean red meat, pork, chicken, eggs, and fish, along with abundant vegetables and fruit and a variety of vitamin and mineral supplements, including fish oil. I avoided most grains, especially wheat, since I have a family history of diabetes and am sensitive to carbohydrate overload; however, I ate rice occasionally. I also avoided dairy products as they seemed to cause flair-ups of arthritis in my hands. I wasn’t eating butter so the only fat I was eating, other than those provided in foods and the fish oil supplement, were olive oil and coconut oil.
I started thinking about other possible dietary causes for the tremors and began to wonder whether it was possible that I wasn’t eating enough animal fat. I knew that the myelin sheath of nerves is composed mainly of fat and that healthy myelin is critical for proper nerve function. Reasoning that I am an animal, not a plant, it seemed possible that my reliance mainly on plant oils (olive and coconut) had resulted in a deficiency of some type of fat that might be more available in animal fat.
Since I wasn’t eating butter, I decided to add lard to my diet to see if it could help. I started using it liberally for cooking foods. To my amazement, within two days there was a noticeable decrease in the severity of the shaking. Intrigued, I continued to use lard for cooking, added it to soups, and even added it to my herbal tea. The shaking in my hands improved so much that within several months, there was only a minor tremor. Now, about a year after I started including lard in my diet, there is no noticeable tremor of my hands except, very rarely, when I am really tired.
The fat composition of lard apparently varies based on the diet of the hogs and the body location of the fat that is used to make the lard. According to an internet article comparing the fat content of various cooking fats, lard contains more saturated fat and less monounsaturated fat than olive oil. Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, is one of the main components of myelin. It might be inferred that the high monounsaturated oleic acid content of olive oil should contribute to the production of healthy myelin. However, since I had been eating lots of olive oil at the time the tremors developed and since the addition of lard to my diet dramatically and rapidly reduced the hand tremors, it seems more likely that something in the higher saturated fat component of lard was responsible for the improvement.
My experience of apparently curing hand tremors by adding lard to my otherwise healthy diet doesn’t mean that everyone or even anyone else with hand tremors will experience the same benefit. It is also possible that another person with tremors might benefit from a different mix of fats in their diet. However, lard is inexpensive and readily available at any grocery store so, if someone has tremors, it may be worth experimenting with the addition of lard to the diet.
A side benefit of adding lard to my diet is that my skin is softer and my chronically dry hair is no longer dry.
Editor’s Response: The vitamin D, arachidonic acid, and cholesterol in lard may have also contributed to the improvement in neurological function.
IT’S THE WATER
The excellent article “Magnificent Magnesium” (Fall, 2010), tells us that magnesium is one of the most important nutrients in the body, involved in over three hundred reactions. Yet, the majority of Americans are magnesium deficient. Good sources of magnesium are nuts, grains and seaweed. These sources can be problematic for those with allergies.
Regarding other natural sources, the author, Katherine Czapp, states that “Even many bottled mineral waters are low in magnesium, or have a high concentration of calcium, or both.” This is generally true, except for Donat, a mineral water from a thermal spa in northeastern Slovenia. This water has an amazing 1030 mg of magnesium per liter, the most magnesium of any mineral water in the world.
When I am in Slovenia every summer, I drink Donat water every day, and I always feel very well when I am there. I learned about Donat from people I met when I first arrived in Slovenia in 1992. It was kind of a folk wisdom that Donat water was good for you. Drinking mineral water or “taking the waters” at the spa locations and sites of springs is a very old European tradition. The treatment was called “the cure.” Physicians used mineral water with great success for many diseases and found that immersing oneself in mineral water lowered blood pressure.
Artifacts found at spa sites in Slovenia indicate that the springs were used by the Romans. Treatment at a health spa for specific ailments and recovery after surgery are covered under health insurance programs in Slovenia. There are fifteen or more mineral spas in Slovenia, mostly bordering on a tectonic plate running northeast to southeast, each with its distinct mix of minerals in the water.
Donat is available in the US, at ParthenonFoods.com. But, for a firsthand tasting of Donat mineral water, a visit to a Slovene spa, and much, much more, join me for ten days on our “Taste of Slovenia” Real Food Tour in June 2011.
Sylvia P. Onusic, PhD
Editor’s Response: In the absence of magnesium-rich mineral water, a good substitute is still or sparkling water with an added pinch of unrefined salt.
KIDNEYS FOR MAGNESIUM
I recently learned that the Europeans recognize kidneys as an excellent source of magnesium. Typically, kidneys are consumed fresh, during the hog butchering season in late fall, and during the lamb and calf butchering season in the spring. It is said that eating a good portion of kidneys during these periods will prevent cramps for six months.
When our church collects canned and non-perishable goods each year for the poor, I would see all the junk and be discouraged from participating. Now I know what to contribute, and I chuckle to think how different my bag is from others, and hope that folks will actually eat the foods I contribute.
You can actually find some good things at your average grocery store: wild canned salmon, canned sardines and anchovies, brown rice, coconut milk, organic beans or dried beans, and tomato sauce. I also look for pâté and canned mackerel. There may even be more ideas in the annual WAPF Shopping Guide.
Kathy Kramer, WAPF Office Manager
Cottage City, Maryland
I wanted to write to you with a couple of anecdotal stories about sacred foods. While reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Price, two memories that were buried deep in my mind came vividly to the surface. I didn’t quite realize back then what was happening, but now it is crystal clear to me.
I have traveled extensively in Africa, and lived in the African country of Tanzania from 2000-2002 as a teacher. The first story has me visiting a small village, and sharing a meal with a family. We were gathered together on the floor of their house with a big platter of rice before us, and a small bowl of meaty chunks (still on the bone). The custom in Tanzania is that the guest is served first, and is always served the best the family can offer. That day, the hostess proudly placed a large piece of fat on the rice in front of me, while the family watched as I ate it.
At the time, I was horrified to be eating a large piece of gristle, but I tried to get it down with a smile of thanks. Now, after reading Dr. Price’s research, I understand why the gift they made to me was what they considered to be the best.
The second story has to do with a party that our students threw for my roommate. His birthday was coming up, and a Kenyan student had tantalized him with comments about the delicious “African cake” the students were going to make for the party. When the night of the party came, they brought forward roasted goat intestine that was stuffed with roasted organ meats. We felt hoodwinked; this wasn’t cake! My roommate (an off and on vegan) was given a bite, and then every person gathered at the party was given a bite. Later, we all shared goat soup, which was a bone broth that had some finely minced pieces of organ meat in it. Our students relished it all. It was “African cake.” And yet again, I hadn’t realized that they were giving us the best they had—and this came out of their traditional wisdom.
Since 2001, I’ve been eating a traditional diet, including raw milk and soaked oats. I usually set the oats I want for the next day to soak the night before. Recently I got a very good yogurt culture (a great place to get a really strong culture is from Indian folks, they have cultures that continue on and on, unlike commercial yogurt, or powdered yogurt starters) and have been using the whey from that in my oats as they soak.
The other day I put the oats to soak, but the next morning we went out to breakfast so we didn’t use the oats. The oats therefore soaked a second day and then when I went to use them I noticed a pleasant yeasty smell so I cooked them anyway and ate a small amount. Wow! What a difference in energy from these oats! I have severe CFS and I have never eaten anything that comes close to giving that kind of noticeable energy. They kept my blood sugar up (I’m very hypoglycemic), and I wasn’t hungry for hours. It was amazing. Of course I plan to continue to soak my oats for two days now with the whey in them.
I’m writing to you at WAPF to see whether perhaps there is anything I should be concerned about before doing this regularly, might I be getting some undesirable bugs and not realize it for a while? I realize that when you culture veggies for sauerkraut, they go through different stages, and the first stage would not have very desirable bugs it seems for consumption. Not sure whether grains do this as well. My oatmeal did continue to smell yeasty after cooking, but not off, or unpleasant.
Editor’s Response: There is nothing harmful in the long soaking, especially if the porridge is cooked. Most traditional cultures soak grains at least two days, which results in a porridge that is too sour for most western palates.
I am trying to avoid all soy and looking into to setting up my own Aquaponics system, but as I’m suspicious of anything that is manufactured, I looked into the fish ration that you are supposed to feed the fish in your system. I was shocked and horrified that 80 percent of it is composed of soy! I have been trying to find some that is not but to no avail, so now I have to make it myself.
The main problem—which even further shocked me—is that all the commercial fish feed used in all fish farms inland as well as the fish feed used out at sea is composed of a high percentage of soy, so all the left over feed that the fish out in the ocean do not eat, becomes food for other sea animals and crustaceans. So now we have the whole food chain being poisoned by this, and we as the consumer are eating these seemingly “healthy” foods! I even went as far as to look at the pellets they feed our farmed animals such as chickens, cows and pork. They all contained a high percentage of soy, even the “organic” farmed ones. I feel so sick to my stomach that this is happening right in front of us, and all in the name of financial gain.
What I would like to know is, when these animals and fish eat the soy, does it at all break down in them to be not harmful to us, or is the animal or fish we eat basically the same as buying “fake” soy products? And when and where does it all end? It seems nothing is virtually soy free, from the plants, vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, crustaceans and all their foods they eat/absorb.
Sonja Della Vecchia
Mandurah, Western Australia
Editor’s Response: The animals probably neutralize the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors in soy, but some isoflavones remain. For example, there are isoflavones in the yolks of soy-fed chickens. In pigs soy has caused infertility, but it is put in the feed of the neutered pigs. So our concerns are justified. We should encourage our farmers to raise soy-free poultry (and be prepared to pay the additional price). And we should definitely avoid farmed fish and shrimp.
FORMULA FOR SUCCESS
I just had to pass on the story of one very thankful member of our farm club whose baby, Scarlett, was not thriving on breast milk or conventional formula, so Ashley started making the raw milk formula for her.
“Scarlett is doing so great!” she reports. “She only gets up once a night and hardly spits up at all! I wish I would have had this formula for my son, Wyatt, when he was a baby. I struggled with his eczema and him spitting up so badly that everywhere I went I had to bring three or four rags with me only to return home with them all soaked. He never slept either. In fact he didn’t sleep through the night until he was fourteen months old—that was right about the time that he stopped getting bottles and ate regular food!
“Wyatt was on the special formula because of severe constipation from soy formula. (I knew something wasn’t right with soy, before I had read anything bad about it.) The special formula got rid of the constipation, but his eczema never started to clear up until he was about six months old. And from the time he started the special formula I had to put him on Prevacid for his acid reflux and the spitting up all the time. I know now that the formula was causing all the problems, because when he started regular food everything started to go away. In fact, when I started feeding him whole milk yogurt the reflux and eczema improved quite a bit even though he was still getting primarily formula.
“Scarlett was headed for the same road—when put on commercial formula she started to have the same problems that Wyatt did. I am so thankful to the Weston A. Price Foundation for leading the way on how to make the homemade formula. It has truly been a blessing! And I am so thankful to my local farmer for supplying me with what I need to feed my baby!”
Chapter Leader Toledo, Ohio
A GOOD SOURCE OF CREAM
I wanted to comment on the letter, “Not Cream at All” (Fall, 2010). I, too, live in Canada, and would purchase Lactantia dairy products (mainly their cultured butter but also cream). I noted that most of the dairies that were procured by big Ag companies started putting many additives into their cream, sour cream, buttermilk and yogurt.
I’m writing to report that I found a small dairy local to me that does not! Reid’s Dairy in Belleville, Ontario, makes all their types of cream without any additives. Then suddenly they too started putting in the additives. I wrote them a letter stating I was not happy about the additives and would no longer purchase their products, and went to great lengths to purchase organic creams that were difficult to get and, of course, not local to me.
I received a letter in reply from Reid’s, stating that they had decided to go back to producing the additive-free cream because they had received many letters from people who were unhappy about the additives! I was very pleased to hear this and wrote them back thanking them for going back to the real deal (even if it is unfortunately pasteurized). They were true to their word and still produce non-additive creams. This is a small local dairy.
What everyone needs to do is find a small local dairy that sells to local stores and start a letter writing campaign. It may not even hurt to letter write to big Ag companies as well, although admittedly I think big Ag would require thousands of letters urging them to stop the additives, before they would even discuss it in the board room. It was not too difficult to make that change in a small local dairy!
Codrington, Ontario, Canada