Tilting menus towards plants cuts meat eating, study shows

Damian Carrington, The Guardian, Jan. 31, 2022

Making more sustainable choices easier could be a more acceptable approach than meat taxes, say researchers

Tilting menus towards plant-based meals significantly cuts the amount of meat eaten, according to new research.

The experiments in work and university cafeterias showed making it easier to choose meat-free food can be effective and could be a more acceptable approach than other proposals, such as taxing meat or banning it on certain days.

Meat production is an important driver of the climate crisis and red meat in particular is linked to heart disease and other illnesses. Substantial falls in meat consumption are needed in rich nations to curb global heating and ill health.

The new research, published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, involved three separate experiments, including the first scientific online study of plant-based menu choices. This used a representative sample of 2,200 UK adults and found that when three of four meal options were meat-based, 12% chose the plant-based option. But when three of four meal options were vegetarian, 48% chose the vegetarian meal. The effect was the same whether the participants were female or male, rich or poor….

[… Read more at The Guardian ]


Netherlands announces €25bn plan to radically reduce livestock numbers

Tom Levitt, The GuardianDec. 15, 2021

The Dutch government has unveiled a €25bn (£21bn) plan to radically reduce the number of livestock in the country as it struggles to contain an overload of animal manure.

A deal to buy out farmers to try to reduce levels of nitrogen pollution in the country had been mooted for some time, and was finally confirmed after the agreement of a new coalition government in the Netherlands earlier this week….

While being lauded internationally as the “tiny country that feeds the world” and the continent’s biggest meat exporter, the Netherlands has been struggling at home with a pollution crisis caused by an excess of farm animals.

“We can’t be the tiny country that feeds the world if we shit ourselves,” said MP Tjeerd de Groot, from the Democrats 66 party, which is part of the coalition government in the Netherlands.

The country has the highest density of livestock in Europe – more than four times that of the UK or France – with more than 100 million cattle, chickens and pigs in total.

The animals produce manure which, when mixed with urine, releases ammonia, a nitrogen compound. If it gets into lakes and streams via farm runoff, excessive nitrogen can damage sensitive natural habitats.

The highest Dutch administrative court found in 2019 that the government was breaking EU law by not doing enough to reduce excess nitrogen in vulnerable natural areas, due to farming and industrial activities.

The 13-year multibillion-euro plan, published today, includes paying some Dutch livestock farmers to relocate or exit the industry, and helping others transition to more extensive (as opposed to intensive) methods of farming, with fewer animals and a bigger area of land….

[… Read more at The Guardian ]


Victory! Bill Promoting Nutritious Plant-Based School Meals Passes California Assembly

Leslie Raabe, Physicians Committee for Responsible MedicineJan. 27, 2022

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The Child Nutrition Act of 2022 (AB 558), a bill co-sponsored by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, passed the California State Assembly today. The bill incentivizes K-12 public schools across the state to offer healthier, climate-friendly plant-based meals and beverages.

“As the country continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that California’s students have access to healthy plant-based meals that promote overall wellness and help support their immunity is a more urgent need than ever,” says Maggie Neola, RD, a dietitian with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Diet-related conditions worsen COVID-19 cases, and children experiencing the effects of unhealthy eating that used to be reserved for adults—obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes—can benefit greatly from reducing meat and dairy consumption and increasing the amount of plant-based foods they eat. A better diet will improve children’s lives not only in the pandemic but for years to come.

California Assembly member Adrin Nazarian (D-46) authored the Child Nutrition Act of 2022. The bill will now move to the California State Senate for further consideration.

“Children in California need the nutritious plant-based meals that this legislation will provide,” adds Neola. “The Physicians Committee urges the California Senate to swiftly pass this bill and send it to Governor Newsom’s desk.”

Besides AB 558, the Physicians Committee advocates to expand access to plant-based school meals across the country, including working to pass New York bill A.301 / S.1726, which would give every student in New York public schools options for healthy plant-based foods.

The Physicians Committee has quantity plant-based recipes and other resources for students, parents, and schools at HealthySchoolLunches.org.

[… Read more at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine ]


Plant-Based Doctor, Michelle McMacken, Appointed Executive Director of Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine for NYC Health + Hospitals

Shelby Hettler, One Green Planet, January 14, 2022

On Thursday, January 13, vegan doctor, Michelle McMacken, was officially announced as the new Executive Director of Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine for NYC Health + Hospitals.

McMacken, MD, FACP, DipABLM is a leader in plant-based health. After going vegan in 2007, she began to integrate plant-based nutrition into her medical practice and found that it made a huge difference in her patients’ lives as well as her own.

To help even more people experience the benefits of plant-based whole foods, she created the Bellevue Plant-Based Lifestyle Medicine Program in 2019. The program helps people with certain health issues “upgrade” their lifestyle and increase overall wellbeing by focusing on diet, sleep, stress, exercise, social connection, and substance use. The program was supported by NYC’s new plant-based Mayor, Eric Adams, who was the Brooklyn Borough President at the time, and has helped hundreds of New Yorkers. Now, Dr. McMacken has the opportunity to build on this work and help even more individuals overcome chronic diseases by adopting healthier lifestyles….

[ … Read more at , One Green Planet ]