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Americans are changing the way they eat. Driven by concerns over health and sustainability, the average American consumer has grown a lot smarter about their food choices and it is spawning a real food revolution that’s currently sweeping the nation.
Meat and dairy consumption is on the decline and interest in clean, whole foods is on the rise. Moreover, consumers are starting to understand foods that are good for us also happen to be great for the environment. Yet, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, two government agencies responsible for updating and publishing the important Dietary Guidelines for Americans, decided to take sustainability off the plate for the latest incarnation of the guidelines.
According to a new survey commissioned by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, 74 percent of adults believe the newly released Dietary Guidelines should include environmental provisions and Support sustainable agriculture practices. 70 percent of all survey respondents said that the agricultural industry has a responsibility to produce food in a sustainable way. In contrast, a mere 30 percent said the industry’s responsibility is to provide food at a low cost.
The survey also found that food sustainability has the potential to become a voting issue in 2016. But current Presidential hopefuls are largely ignoring the problems faced by our broken food system. Does this mean nothing can be done? Hardly. The powers that be may choose to do nothing, but that shouldn’t leave us powerless.
You can do your part this year, and vote with your dollars by choosing to eat more plant-based foods. By doing so, you can drastically cut your carbon footprint, save precious water supplies and help ensure that vital crop resources are fed to people, rather than livestock. With the wealth of available plant-based options, it has never been easier to eat with the planet in mind.
Our everyday food choices have the power to heal our broken food system, help improve global health, and pave the way for a truly sustainable future. If you’re ready to start making a difference, join One Green Planet’s #EatForthePlanet movement.
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