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New Dietary Guidelines Could Prioritize 'Health of the Planet' and 'Green Practices'

Nanny-staters are always in search of a “problem” they can manipulate for their own goals. Government bureaucrats want to be the former British Empire. They don’t want the sun to go down on any area where they can’t control.

Every five years, the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is convened to use scientific evidence to make the official dietary guidelines for Americans.  In recent years the committee has been hijacked by academics with an agenda. Julie Gunlock of the Independent Women’s Forum wrote

There have been some changes and improvements to the guidelines. The 2005 version better reflected what doctors and nutritionists were saying for years–that people should eat diets rich in meats, fish, and vegetables and healthy fats while reducing carbohydrates. But by 2010 (the first year the committee met during the Obama admin), there were signs that the committee was being politicized. Of course, the big news in 2010 was that the USDA replaced the iconic pyramid with a dinner plate, which was trumpeted by eager USDA officials and the White House as the thing that would finally help Americans put down the chips, ice cream and Big Gulps (I wrote about the switch from pyramid to plate here). The fact that the committee started focusing on “sustainable” food and eating practices (such as using reusable beverage containers) got far less attention. 

At the June 2013 committee meeting (minutes available here) a working group was created to specifically address “Environmental Detriments of Food, Diet and Health.”  Among the topics:

Food environment: Physical settings, media/marketing environment, and policy environment

Physical activity environment: Physical settings, built environment, media/marketing environment, and policy environment (carrying forward relevant recommendations from the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and the National Physical Activity Plan)

Agriculture/aquaculture sustainability: How, what, and where foods are grown and their relationship with the long-term health of humans and the planet [emphasis added]

Now, perhaps you were able to overlook your taxpayer dollars going toward dietary guidelines from the federal government.  After all, don’t they just want to provide help to Americans who are unclear on the best foods to eat and their ratio of consumption?  Except they also care about the health of the planet.  So, what does that it mean?  It means that if the committee decides that raising cattle or dairy cows is bad for the environment, then meat, dairy and other products deemed unhealthy for the environment could be targeted for cuts in consumption regardless of their benefits in a well-balanced diet.  

While you or I may never use the pyramid or the plate or whatever gimmick they come up with in 2015, these guidelines are important.  More from Gunlock: 

Unfortunately, someone is paying attention–the whole federal government, for
one. And that has far reaching implications.  For instance, the military uses
the guidelines to calculate food allowances for soldiers. Federal agencies use
these guidelines to adjust benefits for food stamps (now called SNAP) and other
food assistance programs. And the USDA uses the guidelines to set the rules for
the school lunch program.  

In addition to its usage by the federal government, the committee seems poised to employ the same tactics as the rest of the Obama administration of picking winners and losers in business.  The “good” industries get subsidies and their stamp of approval. The “bad” industries get more regulations and labeled as detrimental to the environment regardless of actual scientific proof.

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