Twitter chat: Is sustainability part of a balanced diet?

Some of the nation’s top nutrition experts may be urging Americans to consider more than calories when making their dietary resolutions for 2015 and beyond.

Every five years, the U.S. government releases a new set of dietary guidelines. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is a government-appointed panel that assists with the development of these guidelines by producing a list of recommendations based on current scientific and medical knowledge. The committee has indicated that the latest set of recommendations, due out this month, may take into account the sustainability and environmental impact of foods, as well as their nutritional profile.

Members of Congress and the meat industry both objected to a draft recommendation circulated in December, which encouraged Americans to eat more plant-based foods and fewer animal-based foods on the grounds that it would be better for both their health and the environment. Detractors claim the committee is overstepping its bounds by pushing an environmental agenda. Committee members argue that there is an overlap between what is good for the environment and what is good for Americans’ health.

Should the U.S. government take sustainability and environmental impact into account when crafting dietary guidelines? We invited you to share your opinion on Twitter. Attorney and food writer Mary Beth Albright (@MaryBeth) weighed in as well. Read a transcript of the conversation below.

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