I had the pleasure of sharing the condensed version of my summary of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report with the folks in Washington earlier this week.
If your idea of fun is watching paint dry, you can catch the full series of comments here. I’m at 46.24 minutes (at the end, you can play “spot the dietitian” who doesn’t think my comments are one bit amusing).
If you sit through it all, you’ll notice that it’s pretty much an industry vs. vegans cage-match. Which, unfortunately, leads the folks in the D.C. bubble to think that all “regular folks” (i.e. non-industry) are vegans.
Do me a favor. Head on over to HHS.gov and provide some written comments of your own. They can be short, sweet, to the point, but add something! Oral comments (like mine) do not have any more “weight” than written ones.
Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Why bother? It’s not going to change anything. You’re probably right. It isn’t. But do it anyway. The vegatarian community has been vocal, active, present, and heavily invested in this process since the Dietary Guidelines began. How do you think a vegan diet went from being a “dangerous fad” back in the 1970s to being part of national nutrition policy in 2010? It’s not like it somehow got “healthier.”
If I try to make the case to policymakers that the rest of America kinda likes eating dead animals, the response is, well, why didn’t we hear from them? Like attending a funeral “to pay respects to the dead,” it seems (and is) pretty pointless in some regards. But it does matter. If not for these specific Guidelines, then for the next ones.
Better yet, tell the folks writing the Guidelines your own story about food and health. Let them know their Guidelines don’t work for everyone. And get any friends, neighbors, and co-workers who would rather not have a “culture of health” enforcing their right to eat lentil burgers to pitch in too.
Hey, if I can wear pantyhose for 6 hours straight in order to look presentable at this meeting, the least you can do is go fill out a form. You can do that in your pajamas.