There’s always a lot of fat in Washington, but Republicans these days are recommending the American people would be better off eating it than cutting it.
They’re fighting against the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans, updated every five years to provide a sound basis for healthy eating.
This year, the independent doctors and nutrition scientists who make up the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee added a recommendation to think about the environment when chowing down at dinner.
Raising meat for consumption, especially beef, has a huge environmental impact due to higher carbon emissions, the amount of grazing land needed, and the spectacular amount of plants they eat to create even a single pound of ground round.
Big money is at stake, so the meat lobby is ready for a barnyard brawl. The Dietary Guidelines have always encountered opposition from companies who make money making us fatter.
One group even started a “Hands Off My Hot Dog” petition to remind Americans that loading their bodies with fat and cholesterol is their sacred, red-blooded right.
However, this year House and Senate Republicans are pushing through bills that question the science used to decide the Dietary Guidelines. The doctors and scientists making recommendations have to prove how scientific their evidence is.
Before you think Republicans are just ensuring validity, consider this morsel: “The [meat] industry is a strong supporter of the GOP, and has given the party more than three-quarters of the $10 million of its contributions made since the 1990 election cycle,” according to Center for Responsive Politics Opensecrets.org project.
How now cash cow.
Groups like the American Cancer Society are livid about the Republican bills, saying they could affect the red meat guidelines that the group has always recommended to lower cancer risks.
It remains to be seen where the Guidelines will end up when officially released at the end of this year. But it is shaping up to be one heck of a food fight.