New Diet Guidelines Poised to Promote More Plants, Less Meat
With new guidelines for healthy diets set to drop, it looks as if the US government will be advising people to consider the environment when choosing what to eat; a recommendation that includes less meat.
An advisory panel to the US Agricultural Department is poised to set forth rather unprecedented recommendations. While not yet finalized, a draft of the guidelines calls for the increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts – and a decrease in beef.
What’s more, discussions ahead of the release have included sustainability and access to foods for future generations. The panel has stressed that there are many foods both good for health and the environment. Such guidelines relating diet to the planet have not taken place in the past.
The current draft encourages a diet higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods; with the panel adding that such a recommendation is “more health-promoting and is associated with lesser environmental impact than is the current average US diet.’
Naturally, beef industries are protesting these new guidelines, falling back on the notion that we’ve always ate meat and things shouldn’t change. Congress has some objections too, politicizing the issues and calling for the exclusion of environmental commentary, as it were.
For some, this is old news and not a drastic enough change – but for the government, this is a major step. Past guidelines have not specifically recommended eating less meat; instead they have suggestive eating different kinds, such as lean meat.
Furthermore, the counter to Representatives trying to narrow the scope of the dietary guidelines is that past recommendations have involved physical activity, as well as food safety. Now, at last, the environment will be considered too.