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USDA May Drop Dairy In New Dietary Guidelines

The United States Department of Agriculture is Reconsidering Dairy as a Recommended Food Group

The Dietary Guidelines Committee, which outlines the nutritional curriculum taught in public schools throughout the country, is currently formulating its recommendations for 2020 - 2025. As part of this process, members of the public and organizations have the opportunity to comment and offer their input on potential changes. This has led US-based charity Switch4Good to step forward and request that dairy is removed as a recommended food group in the new dietary guidelines.

Switch4Good is making their case for removing dairy from a nutritional, environmental, and racial standpoint. Nutritionally, they have gained support from professional and Olympic athlets who have publicly stated that removing dairy from their diet has increased their athletic performance. Ultra Athlete Rich Roll, alongside Olympic medalists Rebecca Soni & Dotsie Bausch, and even NFL Linebacker Derrick Morgan all participated in a video released by the charity, below:

Environmental and Racial Factors

On the environmental side, the charity stated that "Each year, the dairy industry contributes to greenhouse gases, pollutes waterways, and monopolizes precious resources for the sake of profits. Currently, dairy farmers are being forced to dump thousands of gallons of milk due to decreased demand, creating an exponential amount of waste. So why is the US government still insisting that every American diet includes three servings of dairy per day?"

The charity also commented on the controversial racial side of dairy. While it is estimated that 65% of the world's population is lactose intolerant, the percentage is much higher in "Blacks, Latinx, Native Americans, and Asians" the charity added and asked "Why is the US government promoting dairy as a health food, knowing that it makes communities of color sick? This is a form of dietary racism, and you can help put an end to it."

Dairy In Ireland & Abroad

While the idea of dropping dairy as a food group may seem impossible, it is not new. In 2019, the Canadian government caused a stir when it removed dairy from its official food guide. Previous to this, Canadians were recommended to consume at least 3 servings a day. The move angered the Dairy Lobbyists in Canada, as their product was no longer deemed "healthy" by the government.

Like Canada, Ireland's dairy industry is facing mounting challenges in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The B2B or business to business market is at a standstill as hotels, restaurants, and even public schools are closed. The falling demand and price for dairy is causing great concern for Irish Dairy Producers and will test the viability and sustainability of the industry going forward.

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