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It's time to #BeeBold and take action in our own backyards and beyond.
Take action: Tell Darden to make its food more healthy, sustainable and fair. As a leading food provider, with more than 1,500 restaurants like Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse and Yard House, Darden has a unique opportunity and responsibility to use its considerable purchasing power to support a healthier, fairer and more sustainable food system.
Eat less and better meat and dairy and more plants. When you eat less meat, you can afford better. Check out our Guide to Avoiding Factory-Farmed Meat and Dairy for tips.
Buy local and direct whenever possible.
Try Meatless Monday and explore dishes with more beans, lentils, nuts, vegetables and grains. Find recipes at vegweb.com, meatlessmondays.org; vegetariantimes.com/recipe. Good info on protein quantities in vegetables here.
Ask your local supermarkets and restaurants (including chains) to carry more plant-based options and to source more humane, pasture-raised, and/or organic meat and dairy products and wild-caught (non-GMO fed), sustainable seafood. Leave comment cards, speak to the manager and post on their Facebook pages.
Choose veggie protein dishes when you are out, unless the menu says the meat is organic, pasture-raised or grass-finished, or the seafood is wild-caught and sustainable.
What we eat has a huge impact on our health and the environment. No food has a bigger impact than meat.
The way meat, dairy and eggs are produced -- and the growing consumption of these products -- comes at a very high cost to our health, the environment, animal welfare, and workers. The meat at the center of many plates is also at the center of some of our world’s greatest ecological and public health threats: deforestation, habitat destruction, water scarcity, climate change, water pollution, diet-related disease, antibiotic resistance, intolerable animal cruelty and more.
Our Good Food, Healthy Planet campaign aims to address these issues by dramatically reducing consumption of animal products, while increasing access to and availability of sustainable meat and organic plant-based proteins on restaurant menus and supermarket shelves. We also advocate for better policies and regulations to reduce the harmful environmental, animal welfare, public health and worker impacts of industrial agriculture and push for greater public investment in more sustainable, affordable, local, just, organic food production.
The science is clear: a diet with less meat and more plant-based, organically grown foods is far better for our health and the planet.
When you eat less, you can afford better. Certified organic, humane and/or pastured animal products are better for your health, the environment, animals, workers, and independent farmers and ranchers. They often taste better too! No matter what kind of meat and other animal products you eat, eating less is one of the simplest ways to have the big positive impact on your health and the planet.
But we can’t just expect individuals to change: businesses and government must be part of the solution. Restaurants, institutions and other businesses that provide 50 percent of American meals must also be part of the solution by serving less meat and putting more sustainably produced plant-based proteins on the menu. Supermarkets too must ask their suppliers to carry more certified sustainable and humane meat and dairy products. Government policy must also play a key role. We advocate for stronger regulation of factory farms, fewer subsidies for chemical intensive monoculture crop production, unsustainable grazing and animal factories, reduced support for meat-centric diets, and greater investment in organic, local, just, ecological agriculture.
Why less and better?
Most meat, poultry, eggs and dairy sold in the U.S. come from factory farms -- where animals are often raised in cruel, cramped and unsanitary conditions. In order to prevent disease and promote faster growth, they are frequently pumped with hormones, growth additives and daily doses of antibiotics. They typically eat a diet of subsidized GMO grains and legumes grown with large amounts of toxic pesticides and fertilizer which pollute our rivers and groundwater. Raising billions of animals in confined feedlots generates mountains of toxic manure that pollutes our air and water. Overuse of antibiotics contributes to the rise of antibiotic resistance, one of our most serious public health problems. Animal agriculture is also a major driver of climate change, habitat destruction and deforestation.
The good news is that we can all be a part of the solution. We can dramatically reduce the impacts of animal agriculture and change the face of factory farming by making different choices about what we put on our plates each and every day. Eating less and better meat and dairy is one of the simplest ways to have the big positive impact on our health and the planet.
Every day that we eat, shop or order food out in restaurants, we can be part of the change that is needed to align our diets with a healthier planet. We also need to vote with our vote and demand better government policies that provide fairness for farmers and protect public health, workers, the environment and the animals.
New Dietary Guidelines lack clear message on less meat, more plants, January 7, 2016
Coalition sues EPA for failing to address factory farm air pollution, January 28, 2015
Report -- Farming for the Future: Farming for the Future details the science that demonstrates that organic and agroecological farming are fundamental to feeding all people, now and into the future.
Verbal testimony to USDA on Dietary Guidelines process, February 19, 2016.
Sustainable Foods Summit keynote presentation, Kari Hamerschlag, January 21, 2016.
Report -- Spinning food: How food industry front groups and covert communications are shaping the story of food.
Letter from advocacy groups asking Subway to stop serving meat raised with antibiotics.
Testimony given the 2015 Dietary Guidelines public meeting on behalf of Friends of the Earth.
Friends of the Earth's comments urging the USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee to emphasize the health, environmental and economic benefits of less meat and dairy on America’s plates and restaurant menus.
Friends of the Earth submitted comments on the U.S. Federal Food Service Guidelines for Health and Sustainability on September 29, 2015.
Friends of the Earth’s comments to the Global Roundtable on Sustainable Beef on sustainable beef and consumption
Presentation, “Food and Climate: What You Put on Your Plate Matters,” at joint Harvard School of Public Health and Culinary Institute of America-sponsored Menus of Change Conference.
“More Spin than Science: The Latest Efforts to take Down Organics," CivilEats.com
"Assault on Organics: Ignoring Science to Make the Case for Chemical Farming,” Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting's July Extra magazine
Friends of the Earth’s letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in support of a petition to require third-party certification of sustainability and humane claims on meat labels.
Meat Atlas, Friends of the Earth Europe and Heinrich Böll Foundation.
It's time to #BeeBold and take action in our own backyards and beyond.