Meating new guidelines

Every five years, new dietary guidelines are released in the United States. These guidelines are reviewed by the Department of Health and Human Services and once agreed upon, the new guidelines become law. Julie Ann Henstenberg, the Director of Nutrition at La Salle University, presented on the new guidelines which are scheduled to be official in the fall of 2015.

Julie Anne Henstenberg, Director of Nutrition at La Salle University. Photo from
Julie Anne Henstenberg, Director of Nutrition at La Salle University. Photo from

These guidelines set the standard for dietary and nutrition in the United States. Since these guidelines become law, they are open for discussion and comments from citizens.  Henstenberg said “They [guidelines] have never been too out there, like make sure you eat your fruits and vegetables”. She continued to describe that the committee always felt that guidelines could be influenced due to the power of the food industry if guidelines became too specific. This time around, some critics are finding the guidelines a little tough to swallow.

Food Sustainability and Safety is a brand new guideline and its creating controversy. Based off scientific reports and findings, the guidelines make the recommendation to lower red meat consumption. Healthy nutrition is now defined as low intake red and processed meat. With this decision Henstenberg asked the question, “Who’s going to define what our guidelines are?”

Everyone in the United States can help define the guidelines because all laws are open for comment and debate. However, some of the most astonishing information for red meat consumption reduction comes from Johns Hopkins. Hopkins found that the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation. The industry is also contributing to the reduction of the Amazon Rainforest. Soy is grown in South America in the rainforest. Soy farmers are cutting down the rain forest to make more room to grow soy.

"Meatless Monday" logo. Photo from
“Meatless Monday” logo. Photo from

“Meatless Mondays is becoming a popular trend,” said Henstenberg. Not eating meat one day a week will reduce consumption for healthier living and a healthier planet.


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