Protest Dietary Guidelines That Do Not Include Sustainability Goals


Target: United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack

Goal: Demand Sustainability Goals be Included in 2015 Dietary Guidelines

Earlier this year, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommended that “food system sustainability be incorporated into the federal government’s dietary advice” according to National Public Radio. It seemed as if dietary guidelines would not only encourage us to eat food that nourishes our bodies, but also takes care of the Earth in hopes of a more sustainable future. However, President Obama’s cabinet members who will direct the process of writing the guidelines, have recently stated they will not include the goal of sustainability.

In a joint statement, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Sylvia Burwell released a joint statement stating, “we do not believe that the 2015 DGAs [Dietary Guidelines for Americans] are the appropriate vehicle for this important policy conversation about sustainability.” I urge you to sign this petition for a healthier future as we can longer ignore the connections between sustainability and food.


Dear United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack,

In a statement made with Sylvia Burwell, you recently stated that in discussing dietary guidelines there is no room for the discussion of sustainability. I urge you to rethink this idea and hope that you can reconsider the absence of sustainability when writing the guidelines. Kathleen Merrigan, among other authors, of George Washington University have written that including sustainability in dietary guidelines would “sanction and elevate the discussion of sustainable diets” and could cause the government to “open itself up to greater demands for sustainability investments and would signal to consumers that such foods are preferred,” (Science Magazine).

It is clear that discussing sustainability does have a place, a very important one, when discussing what is healthy for Americans. Furthermore, how can people enjoy a healthy living if we are not living on a healthy planet? We cannot have nourished and healthy bodies if we are abusing the Earth, from which all food comes from. Many foods, mainly red meat, has environmental consequences that should not, and cannot be ignored. It is why discussing sustainability is so vitally important for our health.

Sustainability is not just an environmental issue, it is a food issue as well. We cannot continue to ignore the internationalization between the environment’s health and humanity’s health.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Food Navigator USA

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