EDITORIAL: Broccoli to save the planet

New federal diet guidelines reflect an inordinate fear of gas

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The White House pastry chef has had all he can take. After constant badgering from First Lady Michelle Obama about draining the cream filling from his eclairs and substituting arugula for frosting, Bill Yosses resigned. “I don’t want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs,” he said.

President Obama and the first lady have embraced the latest nutritional fads in their own home, and now insist that everyone else follow their lead. The government’s 2015 “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” weren’t cooked up by scientists in white coats, evaluating the perfect combination of proteins, carbohydrates and fats to achieve good health, but by a committee stacked with ideological nutritionists looking for converts to vegetarianism. They’re desperate to save the world from global warming, even if it kills everybody.

The scheme is not so much about health but changing behavior for political reasons. Though they’re voluntary (so far), the guidelines shape school lunches and other programs administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. School kids will be forced soon enough to reduce their “carbon footprint” by trading in their turkey sandwiches for tofu cubes.

As first reported by the Washington Free Beacon, a recent meeting of the federal Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee spent more time on “climate change” than on the science of food and diet. The committee is infatuated with the notion that unless everyone stops eating meat and shifts to a plant-based diet, the planet is done for.

To global warming fanatics, eating meat is the new sin, contributing to changes in the earth’s weather because bovine burps, belches and other bodily explosions produce methane, which Chicken Littles think causes the Earth’s mercury to rise. The more cattle, the more flatulence, and thus, more warming. A study last year in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science raised the alarm that cows are burping and exploding with 50 percent more methane than the federal government previously thought. Methane, according to the theory, is 21 times worse for global warming than naturally produced carbon dioxide, the natural byproduct of breathing. This is making the Obama administration hyperventilate.

Vegetarian evangelists like Kate Clancy, a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, testified to the evils of meat before the advisory committee. Plant-based diets, she says, have a “smaller ecological impact” on “drought, climate change, soil erosion, pesticides and antibiotics in water supplies.” She told the committee that “methane production by cattle has a much stronger effect on climate change than carbon dioxide does per unit of methane.” A committee member, Miriam Nelson, praises Ms. Clancy for confirming her anti-meat belief that less meat in the national diet could reduce America’s carbon — and perhaps methane — footprint.

Meat has been part of the diet ever since the first cave man figured out how to sharpen a stick into a spear, and for good reason. Cows eat grass and seeds so man doesn’t have to. Level-headed scientists and nutritionists believe a balanced, meat-based diet is healthier and safer than a plant-only diet, noting that America’s shift over the decades to eating more grains and corns tracks with the rapid increase in obesity and increasing occurrences of diseases like diabetes.

Like so many ideas that come out of this White House, the federal dietary guidelines must be taken with more salt than is good for you. The White House chef had the right idea, getting out while the getting was good.

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