|This article was originally printed in the Spring 2019 (Volume 4 Issue 2) of Sustainable Farming magazine.
Have you noticed how arguments to ditch dairy and cut back on meat are springing up everywhere, from Twitter to the New York Times?
It’s estimated there are one and a half million vegans in the U.S. Yet they are still outnumbered by livestock farmers and ranchers, who provide the nation with important nutrition and economic value. Until recently, if you’d had to say which group had the most political clout, it would have been a no-brainer. However, behind the scenes, there have been some tectonic shifts in power bases. And that’s why now, cheered on by the big newspapers, at the Departments of Agriculture and international organizations like the United Nations, advocates of “plant-based” eating are making ‘planetary food policy’.
The danger here is that the political arguments being advanced right now—meat and dairy bad, new scientific foods good—are dangerously simplistic and could have catastrophic consequences for human health and the environment. It is high time that we start spending more of our energy on improving the food system using truly evidence-based interventions—which are indeed urgently needed—instead of losing ourselves in ‘one-size-fits-all’ planetary solutions that overlook most of the ecological, physiological and cultural diversity.
Read the entire article here —
Authors: Frédéric Leroy and Martin Cohen.
Fréderic Leroy is Professor of Food Science and Biotechnology at Vrije Universiteit, Brussels, writing in own capacity. @fleroy1974
Martin Cohen is a social scientist whose latest book, I Think Therefore I Eat, takes a philosophical look at food science. @docmartincohen