2015 Dietary Guidelines and Sustainability

Below is an update from the Center for a Liveable Future at Johns Hopkins about how the new dietary guidelines consider sustainability issues for the first time ever.  Personally, I’m so glad to see an acknowledge of the connection between food and health policies at the federal level.  Now more than ever, food councils can serve a major role in shaping local food systems and therefore local health (as well as local environments, economies, cultural events, etc).  I look forward to working together to coordinate the conversation about our food system in Orange County.

– Larissa Calancie

“Hello all,

If you haven’t been following the debate over the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, we would like to keep you abreast of the issue and ways in which you can lend your support to keeping sustainability considerations in the Guidelines.

For the first time in history, a team of experts advising the Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that our government’s advice on healthy eating should take sustainability into account—maintaining the ability to provide nutritious diets now and in the future. Based on an extensive review of evidence, they recommend eating more plant-based food, fewer animal products, and a variety of wild and farmed seafood. As one would expect, certain food corporations and their allies in Congress are pressuring the USDA and HHS to not provide  this information in  the final version of the Guidelines, which are updated every five years.

Read this Fact Sheet produced by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) about what the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) says about sustainability and a healthy diet. Listen to Jillian Fry, a project director at the CLF, give public testimony about the 2015 Scientific Report of the DGAC.

U.S. citizens can urge the HHS and USDA to keep sustainability in the Guidelines by visiting the new My Plate, My Planet website. This site enables anyone to submit comments directly to health.gov. The comment period is open until May 8, 2015.

We also encourage you to consider bringing the issue to the attention of your councils/coalitions. For example, the Santa Fe Food Policy Council has a Draft City Resolution – 2015 Dietary Guidelines to the Santa Fe City Council and the Santa Fe Board of County Commissioners requesting that they direct their support of the Dietary Guidelines recommendations to the Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. They will be submitted to those two bodies next week.

Best regards,

Anne Palmer

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future”

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