Eating healthy has always been, we might say, a national matter. Every five years the government releases eating guidelines in order to encourage Americans to have a healthier dietary life style. This years’ guideline seams to promote, what’s healthier for the environment as well.
A way to protect the environment would be choosing to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and other type of eatable plants, rather than eating meat. This advice, scandalized the meat industry, saying that environment matters have nothing to do with the dietary plan for a healthy lifestyle.
The basis of the guideline is “My Plate” from USDA, which took the place of the known food pyramid in 2010, and it’s purpose is to help Americans develop healthier eating habits. The guideline will be involved into lunch programs in schools as there is an urge for kids in America to eat healthier.
The draft said that developing dietary habits that are mainly based on plant foods and lower in animal foods is much more health friendly and can have a smaller impact on the environment than the current national diet. This may look like as an allusion to the beef industry. Last year, the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science said that producing beef for the Americans dinner tables, is doing a lot more harm to the environment in comparison with other type of meat producers such as chicken or pork.
According to the study, the protein in beef is way more toxic to the environment. It releases more heat gases per calorie, releases more water polluting nitrogen need more water for irrigation and needs more land.
After the advisory committee released the idea, doctors and academics have tried to theoretically create sustainability by conserving food resources and by setting what are the healthiest foods. Their scheme showed that there is compatibility but also contradictions when it comes to what’s good for health and what’s good for the environment.
Reducing the daily intake of meat is not something the meat industry wants to hear as they made huge efforts along the years to ensure the dietary guidelines do not advise to eat less meat. This issue was under debate on December 15th when it was suggested that for a healthier life style, the consumption of processed meats and red meats has to be reduced.
Briefly after the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said in a statement that draft made by the committee is absurd, as beef plays a healthy role in diets.
Image Source: Modern Farmer