A federal panel has decreed that a diet heavy on vegetables is the best diet for the planet in this age of global warming.
The 32-year-old federal Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has decided to add global warming to its criteria for proper nutrition and has determined that meat should be removed from our diets to help environmental sustainability.
A vegan diet consisting mostly of veggies, the committee now says, is both healthier and has less of an impact on the planet. The panel “found that the organically grown vegan diet had the most potential health benefits… The organically grown vegan diet also had the lowest estimated impact on resources and ecosystem quality.”
Despite criticism that diet experts don’t have enough expertise about global warming to include it in recommendations on healthy eating habits, the members of the committee claimed they brought sustainability experts in to advise them.
Barbara Millen, chairwoman of the committee, claimed that because they wanted to recommend that Americans eat more seafood, environmental concerns came into their determinations.
But Millen claimed that her committee had the right to do whatever it wanted. “The scope is ours to fully define,” she said.
Naturally, the meat industry has criticized the committee’s actions.
“When you talk about the lens of the dietary guidelines it’s just not appropriate for the advisory committee to enter that conversation [of climate change] when they were asked to look at nutrition and health science,” Kristina Butts, executive director of legislative affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, told The Hill.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack also raised his eyebrow at the committee’s inclusion of global warming it its determinations.
“I read the actual law,” Vilsack told the Wall Street Journal. “And what I read… was that our job ultimately is to formulate dietary and nutrition guidelines. And I emphasize dietary and nutrition because that’s what the law says. I think it’s my responsibility to follow the law.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com.
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