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Will The USDA Advise Us To Eat Less Meat?

Eat less meat for the environment? A draft recommendation for the USDA says so.

Draft guidelines for the Agriculture Department encourage more vegetables and fruits and less meat, specifically beef.

Sustainability may be included in the next wave of USDA healthy eating guidelines.

The Agriculture Department has a panel that helps draft plans for dietary guidelines. A preliminary recommendation has pushed for a more environmentally friendly diet, with more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and less meat — particularly beef.

Raising cattle for consumption causes more of a negative environmental impact than raising pork or chicken, as beef uses more land and creates more heat-trapping gasses per calorie.

The meat industry isn’t thrilled with the draft, and members of Congress are arguing that environmental concerns shouldn’t play into the dietary guidelines.

The new recommendations are expected in about a year.

Read More:

  • New diet guidelines might reflect environment cost (The Washington Post)
  • The USDA might tell Americans to eat less beef for the sake of the environment (Grist)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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