Following the announcement from the United Nations that we should move towards a meat and dairy free diet, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is also recommending a shift towards a plant based diet of vegetables, beans, grains, nuts and seeds.
Developed in the 1980′s the food pyramid has provided American’s with their principal dietary guidelines, leading some to argue that it has been the over promotion of a carbohydrate based diet that has helped fuel the obesity crisis.
In its first major overhaul in 30 years the USDA is demonstrating an immediate desire to stem its populations soaring obesity levels, which the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recently estimated could be costing as much as $147 billion per year.
“With two-thirds of U.S. adults overweight or obese, the aim is to help people cut calories while getting the right nutrients,” Rear Admiral Penelope Slade-Sawyer of the Health and Human Services Department told reporters in a telephone briefing.
“This report is unprecedented in addressing the obesity epidemic… and the obesity epidemic is the single biggest threat to public health,” Slade Sawyer said.
Some food for thought:
· Over 10 billion animals are killed each year in the USA alone.
· It takes 10000 gallons of water to produce just one pound of meat.
· Meat production generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks, planes and ships in the world combined.
It seems, that with the concept of going green now permeating our food choices the message is becoming increasingly clear… Go-green-or-go-bust!
The USDA guidelines, which are due to be published at the end of the year, are now open for public consultation until July 15th. Anyone wishing to contribute may do so by clicking here.
Previous USDA food pyramids.