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Less Meat, More Plants for Healthier People and Planet: Coalition


#1

Less Meat, More Plants for Healthier People and Planet: Coalition

Jon Queally, staff writer

As a federal government panel prepares to hear testimony and then finalize an updated version of influential nutritional guidelines on Tuesday, a coalition of more than 100 organizations and prominent food and health experts have joined together by calling for more sustainable recommendations than previous versions by replacing diets heavy with meat products with ones containing more plant-based foods.


#2

The science/results from a whole foods/vegetarian/vegan diet has been out for sometime. Despite the said diets proven to be more healthy, it has done little to change USA's diet at large. Cute guidelines will stop the USA's obsession with meat.


#4

The obsessive compulsive fresh-raw-veggie-vegan diet is hardly sustainable. Throughout much of the year, the veggies come all the way from California, Mexico, Europe, even Chile. And it is too expensive for much or the population - the part of the population that affluent liberals never meet.


#5

I recently came across the term "barcode-free eating" and I am blown away by the idea. Humans are omnivores - and there is strong evidence that this is what set us apart form other hominids who are no longer with us. In other words, the extra protein form a diet that included meat gave homo sapiens an evolutionary edge over other bipedal primates with opposable thumbs.

As recently as our grandparents (in some cases parents) humans ate what was available, and did quite well. It is industrial agriculture and globalization which means that the typical American diet in the 21st century is based largely on products derived from crops drenched in herbicides, meat laced with antibiotics and growth hormones, and "fresh" food that has traveled thousands of miles to reach our tables out of season.

Eating what is available locally is one way to go. Eating what is prepared locally is another. Not eating anything with ingredients you cannot pronounce or spell is another. It can be summed up simply as eat real food that came from a farm you could visit if you wanted to, not an industrial edible product that comes out of a box.


#6

Yes, and voodoo dolls don't work.

Not on topic, you say, renegade? Neither is your insulting, irrelevant, illogically ungrammatical, ignorant post. The article said nothing about vegan diets. What it said was true, supported by science and crucial for our survival as a civilization.

And I'm surprised at you, Yunzer; leaping to conclusions, assuming things not in evidence and yusing straw person arguments to attack something so sensible and important. And then making blatantly false statements, exactly the opposite of reality, about relative costs (while ignoring the part subsidies play in propping up the meat- and commodity-centered US ag system). I hope you restore my respect for you by investigating and reconsidering your post here.

Because it seems clear neither of you read (or comprehended) the article before you jumped in with knives flashing, here are some recaps from it:

"People and the planet will be healthier if there’s less meat and more plant-based foods on our plates. Our diets, particularly the meat-heavy American diet, have a huge environmental footprint that not only threatens biodiversity but also our ability to continue producing healthy, nutritious food today and in the future,"

"...a diet higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in calories and animal-based foods is more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact than is the current U.S. diet... "

"Current evidence shows that the average U.S. diet has a larger environmental impact in terms of increased greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water use, and energy use..."

"The importance of eating less meat and more plant-based foods for our own health and the health of the planet is backed up by the science,"


#8

Huh?

I'm told this has to be more characters than "Huh?"


#9

Um, who said anything about vegans? You seem a bit self absorbed.


#10

Um, who said anything about fresh-raw-veggie-vegan diet?


#11

The funding sources for these "studies", organizations and "movements needs to be presented front and centre. Without knowing who paid for it all, we ahve no means to decide whose agenda this is. Big Ag in the past has funded apparently enviro-friendly "eat less meat" campaigns, but then slyly inserted the basic false premises that feed-lot/hormone/antibiotic-loaded meat production produces less GHG than local small/medium minimal chemical/drug farming methods.

So the question for those jumping on the bandwagon this article proposes, tell readers WHO PAID? WHO BENEFITS/PROFITS? If its Big Ag (Monsanto) Big Pharma and Big Oil (natural gas for base stock of fertilizer production), then it is more of what's bad.


#12

Herbivores are an efficient way to concentrate protein from marginal land for sure and, though i've chosen to be a non-meat eater for 40 years, everyone still has the freedom to choose too.
That said what the science supports is that meat produced by industrial agriculture's hormone, antibiotic laced, pesticide and fossil fuel based monoculture grown feedlots is both unhealthy for individuals and the biosphere.
Industrial agriculture's corporate PR departments spin confusion between the attractive pictures of happy herbivores on the open range and the reality of brutal and abused animals fed with poisons while standing knee deep in urine and excrement to divide us.
Eating real food not industrial ag's chemical laced crap, that's the issue IMO


#13

It's discouraging that otherwise intelligent people are so resistant to common sense. Plants are full of disease-fighting substances that could put Big Pharma out of business, yet so many are just hooked on eating animal products I guess.


#15

Wow.

I'm told this has to be more characters than "Wow."


#16

So true. But 100% pastured beef actually produces more methane than feedlot beef so both are worse than plant-based diets except when produced on land that can't produce enough human-edible plant food and that raised on waste and the interest from plant-based permaculture systems.


#17

Not if ALL the petroleum-based inputs to feedlot and industrial plant-food operations are accounted for. A head of cattle standing in a feedlot or in a field burps, farts and craps the same amount of GHGs. And the pasture-fed beef doesn't eat heat-processed pelletized pig and chicken parts. The BS about "grain-fed" meat being "better" is all re-purposed PR manure.

Plus the pastured livestock manure is mostly directly returned to enrich the soil, especially if mixed farming field rotation is used.


#18

I am so glad that chocolate is plant based.
I will redouble my efforts to eat more chocolate.
It is the least I can do for the planet.


#19

Pigs may be flying as we type. I agree with Pechorin. Sorta... variety IS the spice of life.

It is the chemicals/drugs in the US/industrial-based food chain and environment that is causing skyrocketing rates of cancers, diabetes, auto-immune diseases and the like. This is why EVERYWHERE US-style industrial food products are introduced, the litany of "developed nation" diseases soon follows.

The US public is being subjected to the biggest science experiment in history... at is core is a metastasized petroleum/chemical industry that injects its "products" into every facet of our lives.

LOOK AROUND YOUR HOME. Can you find ANYTHING that has zero petroleum/chemical inputs or does not carry some petro-derived pollutant/residue?

The current practice of rating the toxicity of chemicals/pollutants by working down from lethal doses to where the effects do not overtly cause disease/harm is backwards. Chemicals and pollutants should be introduced by experiment until ANY detectable impact is seen. The limits are then set below the level of any detectable effect. Most chemicals/pollutants now deemed "safe" at current levels would never be allowed ot be produced, let alone distributed in our food.

Far too many chemicals are little more than petroleum industry waste-byproducts, found to have "useful properties".


#20

Hi J4, i read that too, But when i looked deeper into it i found out that it's due to the fact that all 100% pastured herbivores eat far more ruffage than grain fed ones do. Further that 'ruffage' is essential to the overall health of herbivore digestion and that it's also part of them being so good at concentrating protein on marginal land.

Another important fact the 'more methane' spin avoids is the methane created by the breakdown of corn [and other grain] silage by bacteria.

When you add that and all the additional environmental costs externalized by the feedlot process like the embedded energy in the production and use of pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics and the eventual costs in energy to clean all that crap up someday, the math changes drastically and free-range herbivores, especially those eating perennial grasses on land they can roam to find the area best suited at that time, is far less of a burden on our atmosphere.

Don't get me wrong, i'm not down on meat eating or meat eaters, i'm down on feedlots. My Family has raised free range, grass fed, cattle and sold them for top dollar for generations. Every dollar goes into their pockets not corporate agriculture's. True they're poor in money, but they have no debts.


#22

This odd system won't let me reply to AP so I'll do it here, to Pechorin and AP.

I read my own post. In fact, if I recall correctly I wrote it.

The only thing I pretend is science is science.... except I guess that's not pretending.

Studies show reducing meat from the SAD, Standard American Diet, is healthier. Increasing numbers of studies, though disharmonious on the degree, show that decreasing meat production will reduce greenhouse gases and land use changes that will help us avoid climate catastrophe. That seems important and not just to my addled, American (North. American? South. American? Central American? All of the above?) rigid, prudish (though I'm not sure Pechorin understands the meaning of that word) mind. If we don't dramatically reduce GHGs in about the next 15 years climate catastrophe will cause increasing devastation to natural systems we depend on, causing more droughts, floods, fires, storms, heat waves, crop failures, freak freezes, and the collapse of an increasing number of societies (already started across the what Christian Parenti calls the Tropic of Chaos) until global civilization itself collapses and millions of species, possibly all life on Earth, become extinct. We've waited far too long to do anything about this but we can still probably avoid the worst if we act rapidly and massively right away. To call that "couch[ing] it in a [weird] "saving the earth" context." is an odd reaction, especially since the science, that Pechorin says s/he values, says exactly what I'm saying. As did the article. And my quotes from the article.

Plant-based diets are almost infinitely varied in flavor, texture, ethnicity and types of foods; they're delicious and healthier and offer everything that meat-centered diets do except meat, extra heart disease and cancer (trophic biomagnification) and worldwide destruction. I'm not sure which of those Pechorin is a big fan of--it seems it might be all of them--but none is necessary for a happy, fulfilling life. Nor is smoking, at least from I've been told.... by science. But since Pechorin knows better, I'll defer to his or her informed opinion on the cancer and emphysemia rates for smokers and how much enjoyment people get out of those conditions.

It seems everything Pechorin thinks s/he knows about me is wrong, and everything s/he thinks s/he knows about plant-centered diets, diets in general, and health all around, is wrong. S/he has a boring, ethnocentric stereotype about people in the US but seems to be sure that we should be eating more meat and smoking more. I'll bring it up at the next general meeting of the Americans.


#23

That is typically the diet of the food activists, who along with all the driving they do going to all the "natural food" and "food co-op" stores, have huge carbon footprint. You will never see them subsisting on local root-crops, squash, beans (Although I've never seen locally grown dry beans in my area) and canned food through the non-growing season. They believe that if they can't have fresh veggies year-round they will die.

I know first hand about this from my wife who is driving us into the poorhouse from her orthorexia.


#25

i know, you are dealing in caricature and stereotype. "But i know!" Yes, and i know different. Have fun!