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The U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is currently in the process of revising the official dietary guidelines for 2015. The committee will review new scientific evidence and public comments to help them formulate these new guidelines. For the first time ever, the committee is taking sustainability concerns into consideration. This is an incredible opportunity to revisit the way we think about food and diet as a nation, and the new guidelines hold an incredible amount of sway and influence over the public.

It has been long understood that Americans consume quantities of meat and dairy that far exceed current recommendations. At this pivotal point in time, when we are beginning to wake up to the impact that our food choices have on the planet and the other species that call Earth home, it has become apparent that our overconsumption of meat and dairy needs to stop.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that livestock production is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, while other organizations like the Worldwatch Institute have estimated it could be as much as 51 percent.
, and it has been linked to environmental pollution, extinction of species, and mass habitat degradation. With this in mind … should the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee include a recommendation to actively decrease consumption of meat and dairy?

The Center for Biological Diversity has submitted comments as part of the public forum asking the committee to reconsider current guidelines for meat and dairy intake.

Stephanie Feldstein, director of the population and sustainability program for the Center of Biological Diversity, explained in a press release, “in order for the American diet to be sustainable, it must include drastic cuts in meat and dairy consumption.”

According to a study by University of Michigan, recently published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology, if Americans continue to consume meat and dairy according to current guidelines, we can expect to see a 12 percent increase in greenhouse gasses.

Livestock production has been identified as a key contributor to climate change, habitat loss, and species extinction, and in the wake of the release of the news that the planet has lost over 50 percent of its wildlife in the past 40 years – it’s pretty clear we’ve got to make a change.

You don’t need to wait for the U.S. Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to come out with the 2015 guides; you can start making a change right now. By reducing your consumption of dairy and meat, you can save precious land and water resources, and reduce your carbon footprint. Innumerable benefits all derived from one simple food choice.

Ready to make a change? Click here for hundreds of meat and dairy-free recipes that will make helping the planet all the more delicious.

Image source: Quinoa and White Bean Burger

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48 comments on “Should U.S. Dietary Guidelines Include Reduced Meat and Dairy Consumption to Meet Sustainability Goals?”

Click to add comment
Khaloy Ulpiano
3 Years Ago

Why not,veggies is good for our health.

My Diabolical Plan
3 Years Ago

Regardless of what I think, the U.N.'s scientists have been urging this action for years.

Patty FriedFol
3 Years Ago

No, it should include "no meat and reduced dairy consumption"

Angela Walborn
3 Years Ago

Absolutely.. With non GMO organic tho

Christopher Hedding
3 Years Ago

Blah blah blah, that's all we hear this crap is getting old. People are going to eat what they want. So you go eat what you want and let others eat what they want. You all sound like religious extremists who want to shove religion down everyone's throat as your way is the only way. Got news for you there are other ways than just yours, so get over yourselves.

Christina G.
06 Nov 2014

Society has been doing things "your" way for a very long time. Clearly, it is not working. We are creatures of habit, but that is not excuse to not re-evaluate what may be causing damage to our planet and our health. This isn\'t some religious cult mambo jumbo talk - there are scientific and sociological statistics to back up reasons behind adjusting our meat and dairy consumption.

Yes, everyone is entitled to live their life according to their own values and beliefs, but there has to be a point when we start to look and work on things collectively. We all share this planet together.

MJ Stash
3 Years Ago

Of course not... Then the government won't be able to capitalize on sick people. Here...have some tortured bloody meat and a tall glass if cow pus. Drink up kids!

Sandi Cartwright
3 Years Ago

Yes Wake up America

Denise Da Silva Bastos
3 Years Ago

Yes!! People almost don't know how to eat healthy

Joy Houghting
3 Years Ago

Cut it out completely (but they won't because too many of them are making too much money from it) and not only for sustainability - people are starving - feed them the grain that is used to feed animals raised for meat. Plant crops on land currently holding animals raised for meat.

Cleto Pesina
3 Years Ago

Nooooooooo !!! Meat has iron & protein....


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