USDA Promotes Meatless Monday Before It Doesn't
Wait. What day is it again?
See also, from Unfair Park: *Meatless Mondays at USDA Out-and-Out "Treason," Ag Commish Staples Says
An internal USDA Newsletter has some Republican tweeps in an uproar. On July 23, the USDA posted a five-page newsletter for employees, offering tips and status updates on "greening efforts" including cool roofing systems, recycling efforts, and of all things Meatless Monday.
The third page of the newsletter says that the international campaign to reduce meat consumption is "one simple way to reduce your environmental impact." And then goes on to tout the tasty vegetarian options available in USDA cafeterias.
How will going meatless one day of the week help the environment? The production of meat, especially beef (and dairy as well), has a large environmental impact. According to the U.N., animal agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gases and climate change. It also wastes resources. It takes 7,000 kg of grain to make 1,000 kg of beef. In addition, beef production requires a lot of water, fertilizer, fossil fuels, and pesticides. In addition there are many health concerns related to the excessive consumption of meat. While a vegetarian diet could have a beneficial impact on a person's health and the environment, many people are not ready to make that commitment. Because Meatless Monday involves only one day a week, it is a small change that could produce big results.
This from the people that publicly endorse pink slime and back the meat industry, which was not pleased with the newsletter.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association posted a statement on its website, saying "the announcement that the agency embraces the Meatless Monday concept calls into question USDA's commitment to U.S. farmers and ranchers." The statement went of to say the endoresment should be condemned by anyone who believes agriculture is fundamental to sustaining life on this planet.
So then politicians got to tweeting.
USDA HQ meatless Mondays!!! At the Dept. Of Agriculture? Heresy! I'm not grazing there. I will have double rib-eye Mondays instead.
@ChuckGrassley: I will eat more meat on Monday to compensate for stupid USDA recommendation abt a meatless Monday
Chuck Grassley, the Senator from Iowa got a response from the USDA:
@ChuckGrassley: USDA does not endorse Meatless Monday. Statement found on USDA website was posted w/o proper clearance. It has been removed.
And just like that the party was over. The newsletter has been pulled by the USDA but you can see a copy here...
And to reward for finishing this post here's a ridiculous bonus tweet:
My local steak house serves nothing but vegetarian bc cows are vegetarian
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.