Skip to comments.Dietary Guideline Committee ‘Quadruples’ Down on Moving Americans to ‘Plant-Based Diets’
Posted on 07/18/2014 2:35:32 PM PDT by PoloSec
The federal committee drafting nutrition guidelines continued to stress the importance of moving Americans towards plant-based diets on Friday, arguing that eating less meat and fewer snacks can save the planet.
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) held its fourth meeting, again devoting a session to sustainability, which will be taken into account for nutrition standards that are used to create policy at the federal level.
The USDA recently hired an environmental food activist to lead its Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which oversees DGAC, drawing fears that the committee is doubling down on infusing environmentalism into the guidelines. The committee has previously been criticized for putting climate change over food science.
Those concerns likely will not subside following Fridays meeting, which included a presentation by Miriam Nelson, the DGACs work group leader for Environmental Determinants of Food, Diet, and Health.
Consistent evidence indicates that, in general, a dietary pattern that is lower in animal-based foods and higher in plant-based foods has a lesser environmental impact and at the same time is more health-promoting than the current American diet, Nelson said.
Promoting more sustainable diets will contribute to food security for present and future generations by conserving resources, she said. This approach should be encouraged across all food sectors.
Nelson said there is remarkable consistency in research that vegetarian-like diets are better for the planet. The presentation focused on sustainability outcomes for the food system, which take into account environment footprint, including greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, and biodiversity.
Jeff Stier, a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research, said the committee is now quadrupling down on their commitment to environmentalism.
The goal is to push sustainability not to push healthy eating, Stier said in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon.
Theyve made it very clear that they dont just want to have an intellectual discussion, he said. The person they hired to oversee the committee is the [sustainability] movements biggest cheerleader, referencing the appointment of Angela Tagtow, a good food activist who advocates for social justice in the food system and an ecological approach to nutrition.
The hiring of Tagtow was doubling down [on sustainability], Stier said. Theyre quadrupling down now.
During the meeting, Alice Lichtenstein, DGACs vice chair who likes to joke about decapitating Ronald McDonald, said the committee should be careful because a plant-based diet could mean French fries and potato chips.
We just need to be very careful of generalizing because plant-based could be potato chips and French fries, she said. I just think we have to have a lot more specificity in terms of plant-based. You know, its the same thing about dairy products, whats low-fat, non-fat, versus full-fat.
Nelson agreed, and added that plant-based diets should not include snacks and sweets, arguing that they are harmful to the environment.
Theres actually someits more limited evidencebut in fact, if you reduce high calorie snacks and sweets, you actually have a lower environmental footprint, Nelson said.
The panel also discussed the importance of getting the message out to Americans, in order to change their diets.
I really appreciate this, said Wayne Campbell, a nutrition professor at Purdue University and a member of DGAC. Im just curious about if your group work in the future will allow for some sort of an assessment of the magnitude of an effect we can have by a certain amount of change.
I want to be able to hopefully have a message that includes, Hey, a modest change, or moving in the right direction, its almost like the exercise thing, in a way, on a global scale, he said. Nobodys going to get all the way to eating the perfect diet. If youre progressing, its good.
Nelson was enthusiastic about his question.
Good point. Some of the studies did show magnitude and what it would do, she said. I think we can come back to that because thats a really important piece.
She noted that a green message could be used to help influence young peoples diets, and be a real motivating factor.
Hopefully one of the messages we can take out to the public that could be taken from this research into the public policy stuff is what individuals and groups of communities and the like can actually do to have an impact without it just seeming too daunting, Campbell said.
Nelson argued that the recommendations she discussed were not far from the 2010 dietary guidelines, and that Americans only need to be persuaded into following them. The 2010 guidelines called for reducing sodium intake, consuming alcohol in moderation, and consuming more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk, lean meats, and peas.
Were not out of context with the guidelines, were not really talking about something different that what we already have, she said. Its in line with it, and it could be used as another messaging tool that is motivating for a lot of people.
Stier said the defense that this is nothing new is not sufficient to appease critics of the committee.
Sustainability was in fact mentioned in the 2010 guidelines but its now increasing in prominence, he said. And with the appointment of Tagtow it may actually have a policy implication. Before it was just language bouncing around in the meeting, but this is how policy happens over time.
Now theyre dedicating 20 percent of their committee work to sustainability, he said.
If meat prices keep going up, we won’t have a choice.
It never ends with this group!
Will this be like ObamaCARE?
Meat shall only be for the EXEMPT Congress,
the EXEMPT SCOTUS, the EXEMPT pRes_ _ent,
and Moslems, again?
Animals are a whole lot easier to raise on marginal land than crops. The plants only folks are morons.
Animals with the eyes of their head facing the sides are the meat.
Hey, they're bloody well eating from a plant-based diet!
OK, give me a hint. I know that “Miriam” is usually a female name, but ...
The Liberals will not rest. They legislate, rule and regulate us all to a 1984-type existence of meager, 1954 East German-type lifestyles. No food, regulated communication, no gas or oil, no guns to protect ourselves, post office healthcare and one-party, UN-subjugated rule with people like Jarrett and Kerry moving us to utter poverty and despair.
Again the war on fat by ignorant but highly educated ideologues, idiotlogues. Fat is good for you. Protein is good for you. Animal fat and protein is fantastic for you. Not counting highly processed stuff anyway. Stay away from Crisco type stuff and you will be fine.
Sustainability is defined by limiting government regulation of what it takes to get dead animals and vegetables to your plate. Lower taxes. Stable financial markets. That’s sustainability.
Hey Miriam, what food should we eat to cure ugly because you look deficient and I don’t want to go there?
How long before they start throwing us in jail for consuming a prohibited substance?
Why do you think meat prices are being driven up?
Exactly this agenda.
> The goal is to push sustainability not to push healthy eating, Stier said in an interview with the Washington Free Beacon.
Clue: the elite wanto to eat meats; the peasants, beets.
She’s a man, baby!
Ah, yet ANOTHER control scheme couched in “save the erf” language.
They have the power to kill the coal industry, they have the power to crush the grocery business. We’ll all be eating at Federal feeding centers.
I am deadly serious.