URGENT: Every 5 years the US dietary guidelines are updated. This year, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), the independent scientific body tasked with advising the USDA and HHS on the latest science, has recommended the adoption of sustainability considerations in the 2015 edition!
What does the DGAC say about sustainability and a healthy diet? Find out here.
However, the USDA and HHS are under no obligation to follow these recommendations, and industry is working hard to ensure sustainability is removed from the guidelines. Until May 8th, Americans have an opportunity to make their support known by sending their comments to the government in support of the science.
Along with the 53% of Americans in favor of considering environmental impacts of diets in the guidelines, YOU can submit a public comment directly to the HHS and USDA by MAY 8TH to let them know that you support including the sustainability recommendations of the independent science panel. To take action now go to www.myplatemyplanet.org and submit a comment. We just did!
Below are highlights of the evidence from the Committee’s Advisory Report that support the inclusion of sustainability considerations in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines. Find more of these and the citations associated with them here.
• Food production methods have significant environmental impacts: global production
of food is responsible for 80% of deforestation, more than 70% of fresh water use, and up to 30% of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions 3
• Global food production is the largest cause of species biodiversity loss 3
• The capacity to produce adequate food in the future is constrained by land use, declining soil fertility and soil loss, unsustainable water use, and over-fishing 4
• Meeting current and future food needs will depend on altering individual and
population dietary choices and developing food production practices that reduce environmental impacts and conserve resources while still meeting food and nutrition needs
• Foods vary in the type and amount of resources required for production;
as consumer demand impacts food production, it will also influence how and to what extent resources are used 3
(From fact sheets prepared by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and http://www.myplatemyplanet.org)