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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), two government agencies responsible for updating and publishing the important Dietary Guidelines for Americans every five years had a great opportunity to get it right. No, seriously, they had a tremendous opportunity to take a giant leap forward by including sustainability as a factor driving their recommendations.

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), the independent scientific body tasked with advising the USDA and HHS on the latest science, even recommended the adoption of sustainability considerations in the federal government’s new dietary advice. The DGAC was tasked with making recommendations that would support both health and food security, and because neither would be possible without a sustainable food supply, they obviously concluded that a diet rich in plant-based foods was the way to go. It was a no brainer! Why? It promotes good health — and is also more environmentally sustainable.

Finally … science and sound advice seemed to stand a fighting chance! If you are going to make health and dietary recommendations, wouldn’t you want to consider the impact of those foods on the natural resources and long-term food security? Of course, you would, especially if “protecting the health of the American public” is one of our government’s most important responsibilities?

Apparently not.

But Why?

It’s quite simple, really. The meat industry flexed their bacon muscles and voiced their opposition to the idea that sustainability should have any bearing on Americans’ food choices. Barry Carpenter, President and Chief Executive Officer of the North American Meat Institute, complained, “The committee’s foray into the murky waters of sustainability is well beyond its scope and expertise. It’s akin to having a dermatologist provide recommendations about cardiac care.”

While I do appreciate the attempt at humor, Mr. Carpenter, food security and the health of the American public is no laughing matter.

The short story is that lobbying interests have  prevailed once again and any hope of federal dietary recommendations that are grounded in reality will have to be put on pause for at least another five years.

Does it Matter?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans is a key document that guides U.S. nutrition policies and food procurement programs, such as the National School Lunch Program, as well as nutrition education, including MyPlate. So, yes, this does matter, but it also doesn’t mean that all hope is lost.

Although the USDA and HHS decided to take sustainability off the plate for the 2015 dietary guidelines, the DGAC’s recommendations helped bring national attention to the issue. If you’re reading this right now, you now know that our food choices not only matter for our health but also impact the environment and the health of future generations.

Yes, we can complain about what could have been, and how our government can’t get anything right or we can focus on fixing the problem.

Here’s What You Can Do Today

By choosing to eat more plant-based foods, you can drastically cut your carbon footprint, save precious water supplies and help ensure that vital crop resources are fed to people. Do that today and share this message with everyone you know, because that’s what the American public needs to hear.

As Aldous Huxley said, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

So, why wait for the government to stop pandering to meat industry lobbyists and acknowledge that a diet higher in plant-based foods is more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact?

Why wait when you have the power to fix our broken food system today?

Learn more about how the fork can be an incredibly effective tool in the fight against climate change, the future of human health and food security by joining One Green Planet’s #EatForthePlanet campaign.

How to Participate:

1. Choose a plant-based/vegan meal

2. Snap a photo and upload to InstagramPinterest or Twitter.

3. Add  #EatForThePlanet and @OneGreenPlanet in your update.

Let’s show the world how eating vegan/plant-based has never been easier or more delicious!


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24 comments on “The Government Is Afraid to Tell You Meat Is Bad for the Planet But Here’s Why It Doesn’t Matter”

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Millie Mason
1 Years Ago

Grow your own. Always better.


Reply
Lesley Paine
1 Years Ago

Johan Venter


Reply
Mc Steffi
1 Years Ago

Zach Mc


Reply
Monty Foley
1 Years Ago

EARTHLINGS.COM


Reply
Theresa Lafar
1 Years Ago

Thank you for your insight and information Lucinda Smyth, I totally believe I would feel so much better in mind, body and spirit.


Reply
Theresa Lafar
1 Years Ago

I agree with Judy Dronzek, always looking for help on selecting, preparing, education on produce (many times I am not familiar with the ingredients), education on the many of spices.....I grew up eating meat, I absolutely love animals and despise how they are treated. I am aware also that so much of what we may think is healthy and good to eat, is actually contaminated. Heard plants show emotion...geez, not simple in trying to save our planet and not starve.


Reply
Lucinda Smyth
20 Oct 2015

Theresa, fortunately it is very simple to google any recipe. That is what I did when I became a vegan.

Lucinda Smyth
20 Oct 2015

Regarding the "plants show emotion" theory - this was bandied about by "meat" eaters trying to justify their own eating habits. Plants lack the nervous system and brain necessary to feel pain. Yes, a plant can respond to stimuli, ie turning towards the sun, vibrating when an insect lands on it etc, but that is not the same thing. I do not think any reputable study has ever shown that plants feel pain in the same way animals/humans do.

Carol Kochert
21 Oct 2015

Lucinda Smyth I agree about the plants. Just makes sense and that was the original diet given to man in the first place. Read Genesis 1:29.

Michele Katz
21 Oct 2015

Theresa, as I offered to judy, you are welcome to friend me so you can access my several vegan resources. You can also put the word "vegan" in the facebook search line and get get a bazillion hits.

Jo Ruf
1 Years Ago

#Vegan4Life


Reply
Carol Kochert
1 Years Ago

I have been vegan for almost 40 years now and approaching 70 in a few months, without ever taking any meds. Not even a cold. People it is worth doing it for ourselves, you will feel the difference, of course don't substitute sugar for meat. Eat sweets sparingly, drink water, walk. Take Care


Reply
Carmen Ortiz
20 Oct 2015

Happy almost Birthday :-)

Stephania Noelle
20 Oct 2015

You look fantastic. You don't look like you're approaching 70.

Carol Kochert
21 Oct 2015

Thank you In May I will be 70years old and that is a hard thing to say! I can't believe it I realized wow where did my life go! That picture was just taken with my 7th grandchild a few months ago and I was not prepared to have it posted but my son said I need to get on FB. So here I am by the grace of God I hope to be here when the Lord arrives.

Laura Columbe
21 Oct 2015

another thing being vegan does for you! Its like a fountain of youth!

Carol Kochert
22 Oct 2015

Plus you never have to diet. This is the best diet all around.

Sandra Leftwich
1 Years Ago

Become Vegan. IF everyone became vegan, it would eliminate factory farming, an abomination on this planet, humans would be much healthier, which would help to aboloish and overhaul an ever increasing out of control health insurance industry, and it is certainly better for the animals who are horribly mistreated.


Reply
Judy Dronzek
20 Oct 2015

Your comments sound very logical but most people myself included who would consider going vegan really lack the how to "become". Even writing that seems strange but if all my life I've been taught 1/3 meat or fish on a plate (now what do I put there)? A daily how to make the change email or something like that might be a good idea for someone to make and sell on infomercial.

Sandra Leftwich
20 Oct 2015

It it helps you at all, Judy, I am 67 years old and have been vegan for only 10 years. I saw my doctor last Monday and she said that I am healthier than most 40 year olds. Vegan is the healthiest lifestyle in the world and NO, we do NOT need meat or fish!!!!!

Lucinda Smyth
20 Oct 2015

Judy, this link might be a good starting point for you: http://vegankit.com/

Miguel Afonso
20 Oct 2015

Just dont do it abruptly (in a period of 1 or 6 months)! Take your time to adjust your body and brain (energy level ajustments and also "processing" the idea) because it can have some sevear repercotions. If one takes 8 months, 1 or 2 years, that is better then nithing! I´ve known manny people who tried to do it fast and they failed for several reasons! Also go to the doctor regularly in the begining to cheek for any problems that might manifest or prevent eventual ones...obviously go to a doctor that has some knolage and is confortable with the concept of vegetarianism or veganism, otherwise you will "find a lot of resistence" and descouraging speaches! One does not need to become a "full plegged" Vegetarian or Vegan, one oly needs to reduce ones animal protein intake and consunption (by 1/2 or 1/3 would be nice!?). There is alot of info about this in sites and on facebook ralated pages, like One Green Planet...one just needs to use the "Knolage at the end of our fingers and cross reference information"! :) ;) Good luck.

Michele Katz
21 Oct 2015

Judy, you can put the word "vegan" in the search line on Facebook, pintrest, yahoo groups and a bazillion other social networking sites. You will get more hits than you will ever be able to read through. There are no excuses! I have over a thousand resources in my Facebook likes. You are welcome to friend me so you can access my resources. But be warned, I post animal rights and progessive political post frequently.

Malena Arias
21 Oct 2015

Do 't be afraid of becoming vegan! It is not as difficult as it sounds. There are tons of fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, etc, etc that give you the nutrients that you need. HUMANS ARE NOT CARNIVORES, we don't need to consume non-human animal's flesh and fluids..Good luck!



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