Dietary Guidelines and Sustainability
Dietary Guidelines and Sustainability
Dietary guidelines in the future should include information on sustainability. Food production is responsible for most of the land and water use in the country. The environment plays a major role in food production. A good environment that is free from pollution encourages the production of food. When there is plenty of usable water and good farm practices that encourage the conservation of soils, then it will be possible for people to realize greater yields for their farms. Many people eat whatever is available to them and whatever they can afford. When there is a bounty harvest from farms, then people will be able to afford their food. However, nutrition has become a major concern. The availability of foods that do not contain any nutrients has negative effects on people’s lives. For instance, even though many people in the developed world can get enough food, the lack of nutrients in most of the foods they choose to eat has caused conditions such as obesity. Therefore, nutrition plays a major role in diets.
Many people depend on dietary guidelines to inform them of the food choices. The more people become aware of the nutrients they have to include in their diets, the better health they will have in future. Therefore, the provision of dietary guidelines is an important factor. There is a need to ensure that the available food has the recommended and required nutrients. However, this will be a major hurdle if the soils are not fertile enough. There is also a need to ensure that people have a variety of food choices, from which they can choose. Farmers have to ensure that the soils are fertile enough to grow different varieties of food crops. Some foods will require more resources for growth, such as the water and land area required to grow them. Others only need a few resources. Sustainability will ensure that farmers are able to grow foods using the available resources. It is therefore important to include information about sustainability in dietary guidelines, as this will go towards emphasizing the importance of good land use and the effective usage of other resources.
The inclusion of sustainability in future dietary guidelines will include information on how food is grown, sourced, and processed. It will include details of how the growth and production of different types of foods affect the environment. This information is important for consumers who are concerned about the environment and for the policy makers. They will be able to determine the types of healthy foods to grow, which do not require the intensive use of limited resources such as water. Farmers will get the chance to know more about effective and sustainable agricultural practices that will not only encourage high yields, but also go towards protecting the environment. Information about sustainability will also include details on the energy used for the growth of different food crops. This is especially important for a country that heavily depends on fossil fuels, which have a negative effect on the environment because of the emission of greenhouse gases. Whereas some foods use a lot of energy to grow and process, others require very little use of energy. Such information is important to the farmers and others who are mindful of their environment.
Including information about sustainability is a clear indication that the government is concerned about the future generations. People want to know that they will have a functioning system in future, and that they do not have to look for other sources of food. This will enable them to plan well. For instance, the farmers will know how to invest in their lands. People will be able to make decisions concerning number of children to have or the areas to settle if they have such information. The government also demonstrates to the public that it is taking action about the current problems. People want to know that the government is doing something about the climate change, persistent droughts and other problems. Information on sustainability will include such details.
Despite all the benefits of including information about sustainability in dietary guidelines, many people may not even recognize the importance of such guidelines. The guidelines are just a direction of what the government recommends. However, people are free to choose their lifestyles and mode of eating. Therefore, it is possible that many people will continue eating what they have always eaten. Moreover, some groups and lobbyist may protest, if they feel that they are not represented fairly. For instance, some people will be opposed to the idea of the insistence on plant-based diets because of their use of limited resources compared to animal-based diets. Therefore, this might cause opposition, and people will end up ignoring some or most of the information on the dietary guidelines. However, this does not mean that the government should stop educating people on healthy living and sustainability. The more people are informed about their health and environment, the more willing they become to eat healthy and to protect their environment.
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