Vegetables are the new black

Hey Philippines, listen up! The United States is becoming more and more plant-based. What are we waiting for?

According to this article, the USDA is finally showing some love for plant-based diets. For the next 5 years, all US federal nutrition programs (including public school meals!) will feature more veggies and less meat.

“Vegetarian-style eating patterns have been associated with improved health outcomes — lower levels of obesity, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and lower total mortality. Several clinical trials have documented that vegetarian eating patterns lower blood pressure,” they say.

Interested in adopting a more plant-based diet? Check out ideas on how to feed yourself here. We heart the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Mark Bittman, who’s as much an omnivore as we are herbivores, is actually gearing towards our dark side. In his New York Times column, entitled “A Food Manifesto for the Future”, he calls for the US government to smarten up about food after the disaster that is the Standard American Diet. Some highlights:

  • End subsidies for processed food, like corn.
  • Subsidize real food (i.e. food grown for direct consumption, like fruit and vegetables).
  • Kill the USDA (which promotes subsidized food) and empower the FDA (which ensures the safety of food supply).
  • Outlaw factory farms, encourage more sustainable animal husbandry practices. Factory farms largely contribute to environmental disasters and animal abuse.
  • Subsidize home cooking and food education for children.
  • Tax unhealthy food (e.g. soda and other junk).
  • Reduce waste and encourage recycling.
  • Enforce truth in labeling.
  • Invest in research towards sustainable agriculture.

Bittman ends his column with these words, which are pretty apt:

“Food and everything surrounding it is a crucial matter of personal and public health, of national and global security. At stake is not only the health of humans but that of the earth.”

We can do this!

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