An update to the federal government's healthy eating guidelines set for release later this month is expected to urge a reduction in the amount of meats - once considered a dietary staple - in the American diet.
As the Associated Press reports, a panel advising the U.S. Department of Agriculture has recommended Americans adopt eating patterns that contain less meat, furthering a trend from the 2011 guidelines which put more emphasis on plant-based foods. In place of food derived from animals, the government is expected to push for more "fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains."
Studies have shown that a diet high in red meat ups the risk of certain types of cancers - but, as the panel points out, it comes with an environmental toll as well.
Globally, livestock produces more greenhouse gases than all forms of transportation combined. Therefore, a plate filled with more plants is not only healthier for the body, but as the panel notes, it is "associated with lesser environmental impact than the current average US diet."