Oprah Enthusiastically Throws Her Support Behind Meatless Monday

 

Oprah celebrates Meatless Monday

Oprah celebrates Meatless Monday

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey may have just encouraged a large segment of her 30 million viewers to join the Meatless Monday movement following her latest show which gave us a rare glimpse into where some of our meat comes from.

The Meatless Monday campaign’s national awareness has more than doubled in the last 2 years. An FGI Research survey found that 30 percent of Americans are aware of the public health campaign. My guess is that following Oprah’s very public backing and the announcement last month that the food service company Sodexo implemented Meatless Monday national and global awareness is going to sky rocket!

The episode, entitled “Oprah and 378 Staffers Go Vegan: The One Week Challenge” featured celebrated “veganist” Kathy Freston and journalist Michael Pollan, best known for his book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” A large chunk of the show followed Freston encouraging sometimes belligerent but mostly willing Oprah Show staff members to eat a vegan diet for one week and their testimonials on how they did. A few employees said the experience helped them lose weight and become healthier. Following her experience, Oprah decided, quite enthusiastically, that her studio’s café would do Meatless Monday every week.

The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Center for a Livable Future helped launch the national Meatless Monday campaign back in 2003. The campaign’s primary focus is to reduce America’s saturated fat consumption by 15%, following the recommendations of the Healthy People 2010 report issued by then U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher in 2000. Key recommendations from the recently released Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 reiterate the message that we need to reduce our consumption of solid and saturated fats.

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Veterinarians Respond to Sen. Grassley

by Amy Peterson, DVM, and Meghan Davis, DVM, MPH

In a Sept. 29th prepared floor statement, Senator Chuck Grassley spoke in response to an August 21st Time magazine article by Bryan Walsh.  An important point raised by Mr. Walsh concerned the non-therapeutic use of antimicrobials in food animals and the impact of use of antimicrobials on the emergence of drug-resistant strains of bacteria. The PEW commission report on industrial food animal production (IFAP) cites several studies supporting a connection between the use of antimicrobials and development of drug resistance in both pathogenic (disease-causing) and non-pathogenic bacteria on and around industrial animal farms. A major component of Senator Grassley argument is captured in his quote of a response to the PEW report released by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) on August 17th. The response states that “[a] scientific human/animal nexus, connecting antimicrobial treatments in animals with foodborne or environmentally-contracted human disease, has not been proven.” Read More >