Klein quoted on possibility USDA will include sustainability in dietary guidelines
Kendra Klein, senior program associate for Physicians for Social Responsibility, said her group has been “excited and very hopeful” that the USDA start addressing diet’s influence on the environment — in terms of carbon emissions and in terms of pesticide and land use.
“I think it’s fundamental that we all begin talking about nutrition as something that is not only about the individual eater but is about food systems,” she said.”I think that’s a very important piece about redefining healthy food: people understanding themselves as part of a larger social and environmental system.”
Even if the USDA doesn’t factor sustainability into its dietary guidelines this year, however, Klein said that in the coming years it will be harder and harder for the agency to ignore food’s impact on the environment. As fisheries are depleted and droughts and flooding makes it harder for farmers to count on consistent crops, it will become clearer that food’s relationship with environmental health needs to be acknowledged, she said.