USDA: Dietary Guidelines not “appropriate vehicle” to discuss sustainability
A new blog post written by USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell discusses the 2015 Dietary Guidelines. In it, the authors say they expect the guidelines to be similar in many key respects to those of past years, but issues of sustainability are not expected to play a role in determining the Guidelines.
“Fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, whole grains and lean meats and other proteins, and limited amounts of saturated fats, added sugars and sodium remain the building blocks of a healthy lifestyle,” they said in the blog.
In regards to sustainability, Vilsack and Burwell say, “There has been some discussion this year about whether we would include the goal of sustainability as a factor in developing dietary guidelines. (Sustainability in this context means evaluating the environmental impact of a food source. Some of the things we eat, for example, require more resources to raise than others.) Issues of the environment and sustainability are critically important and they are addressed in a number of initiatives within the Administration. USDA, for instance, invests billions of dollars each year across all 50 states in sustainable food production, sustainable and renewable energy, sustainable water systems, preserving and protecting our natural resources and lands, and research into sustainable practices. And we are committed to continuing this investment.
“In terms of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs), we will remain within the scope of our mandate in the 1990 National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act (NNMRRA), which is to provide “nutritional and dietary information and guidelines”… “based on the preponderance of the scientific and medical knowledge.” The final 2015 Guidelines are still being drafted, but because this is a matter of scope, we do not believe that the 2015 DGAs are the appropriate vehicle for this important policy conversation about sustainability,” they conclude.
To read the post in its entirety, go to http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/10/06/2015-dietary-guidelines-giving-you-the-tools-you-need-to-make-healthy-choices/.