Perhaps the USDA didn't think mentioning Meatless Monday would result in a social media uproar.
But it did.
For Employees' Eyes Only?
In an internal newsletter posted online Monday, the USDA briefly endorsed forgoing meat products on Mondays as a way to go green.
Quoted from the now retracted statement,
One simple way to reduce your environmental impact while dining at our cafeterias is to participate in the 'Meatless Monday' initiative...This international effort, as the name implies, encourages people not to eat meat on Mondays... How will going meatless one day of the week help the environment? The production of meat, especially beef (and dairy as well), has a large environmental impact.
A Beef With The USDA
By Wednesday, beef producers were up in arms.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association quickly refuted the claim that avoiding meat for one day would have a positive environmental impact, stating that the beef industry has become more environmentally friendly.
A USDA spokesperson said the newsletterÂ "was posted without proper clearance," andÂ the organization officially does not endorse Meatless Monday.
A Twitter storm has ensued from both sides of the issue.
Senator Chuck Grassley writes, "I will eat more meat on Monday to compensate for stupid USDA recommendation abt [sic] a meatless Monday."
What do you think? Did the USDA overstep their bounds or should they have stood in support of Meatless Mondays? Share your thoughts below!
- Retracting a Plug for Meatless Monday (New York Times)
- USDA under fire for backing 'meatless Mondays,' linking ranching to climate change (Fox News)
- After Uproar, USDA Walks Back 'Meatless Monday' Support (NPR)