Dear FDN! Supporters,
Last month an advisory panel of public health experts recommended a groundbreaking shift in federal dietary guidelines, advising the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Health and Human Services to adopt a public policy that promotes food that is good for both our health and the environment.
These new dietary recommendations are a dramatic shift from previous guidelines in the fact that they direct the U.S. government to recommend a healthier diet for the American public that defies Big Food lobbyists’ efforts to promote foods that cater to the junk food industry and factory farm profits.
Already Big Food is pledging to wage a multi-million dollar campaign to stop these positive new guidelines from being adopted and we need your help to stand up for healthy food for a healthy planet!
Officially, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (a.k.a. the “Food Pyramid”) are updated every 5 years and usually amount to “conventional wisdom” on food recommendations, strongly manipulated to favor the promotion of Big Food and Big Ag industrial food production.
The fight over dietary guidelines is a classic case of industry spin vs. independent science. This time around, the guidelines’ advisory committee -- an independent panel of experts -- is recommending a diet higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods for both health and environmental reasons. This would help shift us away from a food system reliant on factory farms and industrial meat production, which have devastating impacts on our soil, water and climate -- and our health.
In response, the meat industry lobbyists and corporate PR machines are out in full force. They’re trying to push the Obama administration to ignore true health and sustainability and leave the recommendations for reduced meat consumption out of the guidelines.
We have the science and the economics on our side -- but we have to make sure our message isn’t drowned out by all the industry spin.
The science is clear: a diet with less factory-farmed meat and more sustainable plant-based foods is better for our health, our pocketbooks and the planet. And eating more locally- and organically-produced foods -- from both plant and animal sources -- is even better.
The Dietary Guidelines are a cornerstone of our nutritional policy and education. They impact the menus in a broad array of federally supported food programs. A shift in the Dietary Guidelines toward sustainability will have a ripple effect throughout our entire food system.
Thanks for participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team
1. “Will The Dietary Guidelines Consider The Planet? The Fight Is On”, NPR, February 26, 2015
2. “Should Sustainability Play a Part in US Dietary Guidelines?”, Christian Science Monitor, February 25, 2015