USDA Dietary Guidelines are NOT Sustainable for the Planet

The way Americans are told they should eat is NOT sustainable. In order to feed everyone in the world in accordance to US dietary guidelines, we’d need another chunk of fully fertile land the size of Canada, or 3.8 million square miles! Unfortunately, we don’t have an extra stash of natural resources, and that means rethinking how we are told to eat.

A group of researchers in Ontario spent six years examining the crop data and yields at national, continental, and global levels. And what they found was worrying.

“Our analysis shows that there is not enough land for the world to adhere to the USDA guidelines under current agricultural practices,” the researchers wrote. “This is despite the fact that the USDA guideline diet is already less land-intensive than the current U.S. diet.”

North and South Americans are notoriously high consumers of meat, while Europeans, Africans, and Asians tend to consume far less. But even if everyone in North America and South America reduced their meat consumption to meet the more reasonable USDA recommendations, there would still not be enough land in the world to accommodate all of our agricultural needs—particularly if Europe, Asia, and Africa were to actually increase their meat intake up to the USDA recommendations.

USDA Dietary Guidelines are NOT Sustainable for the Planet

This study confirms that the USDA should not solely consider human health as a factor when creating updated guidelines. Environmental sustainability and viability need to be taken into account as we evolve our understanding of healthy human dietary needs. The study also recommended that dietary guidelines be recommended internationally, much like greenhouse gas emissions, since land is a limited global resource.

However you feel about those types of shifts, it’s pretty clear that, as a nation, we need to reduce our meat consumption. It is purely unsustainable. But if you’re concerned about how you’re going to get your protein and nutrients, you’re not alone. The majority of people hesitant about adopting a plant-based diet are concerned that they will become malnourished without animal sources of protein. But if you eat smart, that is absolutely not the case.

The US guidelines do not represent the healthiest, most sustainable way to eat.

USDA Dietary Guidelines are NOT Sustainable for the Planet

What if I told you that you could become even more well-nourished simply by growing organic food in your kitchen out of a bag? What if I told you that, in the face of Monsanto trademarking more and more of our seed supply, this industry is an effective way to support the biodiversity of our seeds and support the organic seed industry? Sound great? Good, because we’re talking about sprouts.

Sprouts are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. Depending on the variety, they are incredibly rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and proteins. Plus, you can grow them right in your own kitchen! It’s really easy, you don’t need a green thumb, and they make a fantastic bioavailable protein source that is super easy to digest!

As the world moves towards greater sustainability, organic sprouts are the nutrient-rich, environmentally-friendly way to nourish the entire planet. Ditch your preconceptions of what sprouts can be and give home sprouting a try. They are delicious superfoods, and the world is all the better for you eating them.

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Images via Thinkstock.

65 comments

danii p
danii pyesterday

Thank you.

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danii p
danii pyesterday

Thank you.

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danii p
danii pyesterday

Thank you.

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Ruth S
Ruth S12 days ago

Thanks.

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Tabot T
Tabot T13 days ago

Thanks

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Vera Gary
Vera Gary13 days ago

Interesting article. Thank you.

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Kathy G
Kathy G16 days ago

Thank you

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Kathy G
Kathy G16 days ago

Thank you

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Alexandra Richards

Thank you.

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heather g
heather g17 days ago

After living in Canada for +20 years, I'm still shocked at the amount of money people spend on junk food - even elderly people. Many are uninformed about vegetarian diets.

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