Latest Climate Change Battle May Center on Food Pyramid


by Evan Halper, LA Times

The political clash over climate change has entered new territory that does not involve a massive oil pipeline or a subsidy for renewable energy, but a quaint federal chart that tries to nudge Americans toward a healthy diet.

The food pyramid, that 3-decade-old backbone of grade-school nutrition lessons, has become a test case of how far the Obama administration is willing to push its global warming agenda.

The unexpected debate began with a suggestion by a prominent panel of government scientists: The food pyramid — recently refashioned in the shape of a dinner plate — could be reworked to consider the heavy carbon impact of raising animals for meat, they said. A growing body of research has found that meat animals, and cows, in particular, with their belching of greenhouse gases, trampling of the landscape and need for massive amounts of water, are a major factor in global warming.

Cattle industry representatives quickly raised the alarm, summoning help from Republicans in Congress and their allies.

“There is an anti-meat agenda out there, and this is a way to go after meat,” said Daren Bakst, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, the conservative research and advocacy organization. “We need to just focus on nutrition. Once you bring up these other things, it undermines the legitimacy of the guidelines.”

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Source:  LA Times

Posted by Jami Howell

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