Anna Lappé (@annalappe) is the author of “Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It” and a co-founder of the Small Planet Institute and Real Food Media Project. She writes about the report of a federal nutrition advisory committee, which has suggested that eating more plant-based foods is good for individuals…and for the planet. The committee’s recommendations, which explicitly call for reduced consumption of beef by Americans, are being considered for inclusion in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines.
The recommendations have been met with resistance by a number of groups, including those representing the beef industry.
Lappé writes an op-ed for Aljazeera America. She offers this:
But before you go grabbing the nearest Big Mac and declaring, Charlton Heston–style, “From my cold, dead hands!” note that the recommendations are not touting extremism. They’re calling for a modest reduction, which should be an easy ask for the typical American, who is consuming 70 percent more protein than his or her body can even use. This is a small step that’s based on common sense and science. As Bob Martin, the director of food system policy at Johns Hopkins’ Center for a Livable Future, said, “Even just cutting meat out of your diet one day a week can significantly reduce saturated fat in your diet while providing a big environmental benefit.”