Letter: Wells column off target
I was disappointed by Steve Wells’ column of Oct. 20. It marginalized a very important fact about our food production and wasted a good opportunity to educate readers about the impact of our food. Recent studies have shown that the production of meat, especially beef, consumes more resources than the production of other foods. Among these findings:
• Meat-rich diets have been shown to have carbon footprints twice as large as plant-based diets.
• Beef production requires 28 times more land and 11 times more water than other forms of meat.
• Beef produces five times the greenhouse gas emissions of other meats.
• The grain fed to livestock in the U.S. could feed 800 million people.
Two weeks ago, amid strong pressure from the U.S. meat industry, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell rejected the advice of an advisory panel that proposed to take the impact of meat production into account when revising dietary guidelines. This decision will have an impact on nutritional policy nationwide, which includes the food fed to children at schools.
A health and fitness column is a great place to inform your readers about the impact of their diet on both their bodies and on the world. Unfortunately, the column I read made jokes about racism.
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