Sunday, September 18, 2016

USA leads in pushing the planet Earth into disaster-New dietary guidelines "misguiding" the consumers!

There are four stake holders who have to work together to ensure that food serves the essential purpose of providing a comfortable and healthy life for every denizen in this planet. These are the consumers, food industry, the government and the farmers. Each of these players cannot imagine independent existence without the others. Thus the farmer has to produce healthy crops, food industry must strive to preserve the nutrients to the maximum extent possible, government has the role of a watch dog to protect its citizens from unhealthy and dangerous foods and consumer has the unenviable role of influencing the processors to make the food tasty, harmless and most nutritious. Unfortunately all these players are found wanting in fulfilling their roles with the result that modern society is faced with an uncertain future due to rampant diseases and health disorders brought about because of shirking of their respective responsibilities. Who is to be blamed most? Probably government of the day has to bear the major responsibility because of its vulnerability to pressure tactics by the processing industry which invariably looks for maximizing its profits with very little concern for the well being of the consumer. At least that is the prevailing perception among the consumers. Specifically a country like the US provides a classical example of the "shirking syndrome' as manifested by the most recent edict on dietary guidelines put out by the food safety agency there. Here is a take on this unpalatable development. 

"Shocked. Disappointed. Disgusted. I'm still struggling to find the right words to describe my reaction to today's release of the new Dietary Guidelines for America. Not only do these new dietary guidelines fail to move us forward toward healthier and more sustainable food choices, I believe they actually take us a step backward. Kowtowing to extraordinary pressure from the meat and dairy industries, the USDA--and our own government--blatantly ignored the recommendations of its own panel of scientists and health professionals by removing language from the guidelines recommending what we all know is true: Americans should eat more plants and less meat. The final guidelines are nothing short of a steak knife to the heart of science-based food policy. I could list this document's many failures. How it urges Americans to focus more on healthy foods and less on nutrients--then proceeds to narrowly recommend reducing the consumption of things like saturated fats without actually naming any foods to avoid. How it was carefully scrubbed of most suggestions that meat consumption be reduced--even though Americans already eat around 40 percent more meat than is recommended under current guidelines, according to USDA data. How it even suggests that processed meats may be OK, mere weeks after the World Health Organization named these food products a probable carcinogen.
Perhaps most galling is the decision under an order of Congress to remove any language linking our dietary choices to environmental sustainability and food security. What a slap in the face. While many groups have already raised their voices to decry a policy that callously recommends Americans continue following a diet that is harmful to their health, I'd like to focus on this last point. The role of meat production in polluting our planet has been well-documented, yet unbelievably it still seems to be up for debate and not on most climate change agendas. It's been more than a decade since the United Nations declared that shifting the world to a plant-based diet would be critical if we are to avoid widespread hunger and prevent devastating climate change in the very near future. Producing meat clear-cuts our planet's forests; releases potent greenhouse gasses; causes species extinction; and pollutes our precious water resources. Congress ordered the USDA to base its guidelines only on nutrition, and to disregard any considerations outside of human health. But isn't fresh water, clean air, and our future food supply critical to the health of our children and our children's children? Rather than focus on what's wrong with these guidelines, I'd like to turn this into a call to action. We don't need Congress or the USDA to tell us what we already know: that "more plants, less meat" is the only way to ensure a healthy future not only for our own bodies, but for our planet. It's that simple. You can join me in leading our country by example. If you're still learning about healthy food choices, take responsibility for educating yourself--we already know the government isn't going to do that for us. If you still eat meat and dairy products, start cutting back (and reward yourself by trying something new that's delicious and plant-based!). If you already eat a plant-based diet, serve these foods proudly to your friends and family. Let's change the story of our government blatantly ignoring the advice of its own appointed science advisors and working against the common good. Let's take our power back from a government who no longer has our best interests at heart. Let's take back our health, our community's health, and our planet's health.
It's time to take back our plates."

It is appalling that the guidelines are designed not to displease the meat industry and the polluting industry. While it is globally recognized that meat consumption is linked to cancer, the guidelines do not recommend to cut down on meat consumption giving an impression to the consumers that meat is safe to be consumed day in and day out! Universally nutritionists agree that diets based predominantly on plant foods provide the best guarantee against most health disorders which are presently threatening the very existence humanity but American government does not seem to be subscribing to this scientific finding. Meat industry depending on stall feeding of meat animals and closed cage rearing of poultry birds is the biggest polluter on the earth contributing to global warming and consequent adverse weather changes. Just because Americans are rich enough to buy meat every day does not mean that they have the right to pollute the planet. It is sad that American government is shying away from its responsibility to guide its citizens properly due to the vice like grip the meat industry has on it. Probably citizens may have to fend for themselves in protecting their health by voluntarily giving up meat from their daily diet for their own good. 

No comments: