From the Cow in the Room at COP26 to the Cow in the Oval Office

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energies not on fighting the old, but on building the new” – Dan Millman.

Dear Climate Healers,

The system is crumbling as governments around the world are sinking under the weight of their own hypocrisies. While at first glance, it might have seemed like we turned the corner on government obstruction on real climate action, recall that just prior to UN COP-26 in Glasgow, Scotland, the US administration had initiated the “Discover Dairy” program in schools nationwide. When the scientists at the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had recommended the global adoption of plant-based diets to combat climate change in their draft Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), the governments of the United States, Brazil and Kenya objected and removed that recommendation out of the final document.

Earlier this year, the White House announced a Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health. The forty page report accompanying that announcement made it seem as if the US Government was about to turn over a new leaf and embrace science and reason on climate action, not just on hunger, nutrition and health.

Sadly, it was not to be.

The White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health did occur last month. While it acknowledged that food and nutrition played a crucial role in health promotion and chronic disease prevention, it pointed to the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Dietary Guidelines document, 2020-2025, as the nation’s go-to source for nutrition advice.

Using this so-called go-to source, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed a new rule to qualify food products that could be labeled “healthy”. A few years ago, as documented in What The Health, the USDA had admitted that eggs cannot legally be labeled “nutritious”, “healthful”, “healthy”, “good for you” or “safe”.

Surprise, surprise! The new guidelines have allowed the FDA to restore the “healthy” label for eggs, even though the last time we checked, none of the scientific papers detailing the disease promoting properties of eggs had been overturned.

According to the new guidelines, in addition to the formerly unhealthy eggs, other “healthy” foods include fish, dairy yoghurt and olive oil.

We kid you not!

Even the New York Times got in on the act by publishing a recipe for olive oil fried eggs.

Fool us once, shame on them. Fool us twice, shame on us!

When the US government and mainstream media have such a warped understanding of public health, is it any wonder that over 70% of American adults and counting, are overweight or obese, even as chronic hunger is on the rise nationwide? Even two-thirds of US military personnel are overweight or obese.

Talk about getting bogged down in the field of war!

As you can see, from being studiously ignored at the UN COP-26 meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, Vega, Cow and Climate Healer, is now comfortably lodged in the White House Oval Office. As usual, everyone is pretending that she is not there, but we promise you that she will keep moo’ing until she is acknowledged and heard, freeing the rest of us to get on with the task of building new systems that work for all of us.

Among the stakeholders contributing to the $8B worth of programs announced by the White House to address hunger, nutrition and health, were Tyson foods, Chobani, Danone and Seafood Nutrition Partnership, to name a few disgraceful actors who ought to know better. On the positive side, the American College of Lifestyle Medicine promised to donate 5.5 hours of Continuing Medical Education course credits on nutrition and “food as medicine” topics to 100,000 health care providers located in regions of high diet related diseases.

May we recommend that the American College of Lifestyle Medicine begin in the halls of the USDA so that its Dairy, Egg and Fish army of death, disease and planetary destruction gets transformed to a Beans, Brown Rice and Broccoli army of reason, science and planetary thriving! That would nip diet related diseases in the bud!

Onward and upward!

With much love,
Sailesh and Vega, Cow and Climate Healer on behalf of the Climate Healers team.

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