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January 06, 2015

USDA Advisory Board Will Now Make Nutrition Recommendations Based Upon Environmental Impact to The Earth; Will Discourage Meat Eating

Ah yes, of course. Naturally it has come to this.

WASHINGTON -- A panel that advises the US Agriculture Department appears set to recommend that Americans be told not only what foods are better for their health, but also for the environment.

That means that when the latest version of its dietary guidelines comes out, the government may push even harder than it has in recent years for people to choose more fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and other plant-based foods -- at the expense of meat.

...

The advisory panel has been discussing the idea of sustainability in public meetings, indicating that its recommendations, expected early this year, may address the environment. A draft recommendation circulated last month said a sustainable diet helps ensure food access for both the current population and future generations.

A dietary pattern higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods is "more health promoting and is associated with lesser environmental impact than is the current average US diet," the draft said.

That appears to take at least partial aim at the beef industry. A study by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last year said raising beef for the American dinner table is more harmful to the environment than other meat industries such as pork and chicken.

I just can't.

Update: Course Reversed. Yesterday, the USDA declared "environmental impacts" will not be part of dietary guidelines.

An advisory committee to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reversed course and will not recommend that the agency consider the environmental impact of food production when updating its national dietary guidelines, a USDA official told VICE News on Monday.

In December, the Associated Press (AP) reported that the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) of the USDA would make recommendations based on nutritional considerations, as it has done historically, as well as environmental impacts.

...

While the DGAC did review literature on sustainable diets, the USDA says the effects of food production on the planet will not factor in to its final dietary guidelines.

And yet how close did they come?

What the hell is going on with "our" government?



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posted by Ace at 10:41 AM

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