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ProVeg Applauds States’ Actions to Promote Plant-Based Diets

State procurement of climate-friendly food is vital to help reduce carbon emissions

Food awareness organization, ProVeg International, today welcomed actions taken by states across the US to promote plant-based diets and help tackle climate change. 

From New York to Illinois to California, state-level policies and legislation are being introduced to promote healthier diets, ensure greater inclusivity and reduce carbon emissions.

"We really welcome the action taken by certain states to push through measures that will shift consumption to more healthy, climate-friendly food," Lana Weidgenant, ProVeg US policy and campaigns manager, said. "But we really want to see more states take this type of action to help the country meet climate change head-on at the dinner table."

Plant-based foods emit half the amount of greenhouse gasses than animal-based foods, so measures that promote plant-based diets play a significant role in tackling climate change.

Examples of state-level action

In Illinois, the state amended the School Breakfast and Lunch Program Act to require schools, from August 2023, to provide a plant-based lunch to students when requested.

In California, the state legislature's 2022-2023 budget provides $100 million to support, among other things, schools in procuring plant-based meals. In 2018, California already approved SB1138, which requires certain state-operated facilities to offer plant-based meals.

In New York, the state passed an Act in 2019 requiring hospitals and nursing homes to offer patients a plant-based food option. In 2022, New York City public schools introduced Plant-Powered Fridays to offer a plant-based dish on Fridays. 

In Connecticut last week, State Representative Mary Mushinsky sought to introduce language into House Bill 6397 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from food and drink procured by the state by 25% by 2030. Sadly, the language was not adopted.

Federal level action

Action is also being taken at federal level to promote plant-based diets. The ADD SOY Act introduced into Congress last month requires children to have the option of drinking fortified soy milk in school. Fortified soy milk was recognized in the 2020 US Dietary Guidelines as being nutritionally equivalent to cow's milk.

The bill seeks to support students with lactose intolerance, which is particularly prevalent among the Black, Latino, Native American and Asian-American population. In addition to this, an USDA report in 2019 calculated that the value of unopened, discarded milk came to $300 million annually.

"The ADD SOY Act is a great example of legislation that is inclusive, climate-friendly, helps prevent food waste, and saves tax dollars," Weidgenant said. "We're really hopeful that this piece of legislation passes and want to see more bills like this enter Congress," she added. 

Opposition to plant-based diets

Meanwhile, the Dairy Pride Act was reintroduced into Congress last month seeking to stop plant-based food and drink from being labeled with conventional dairy names, such as "milk". Also, the CURD Act was introduced only days ago, proposing bans related to cheese labeling.

Contact Information:
Peter Rixon
International PR Manager
[email protected]


Original Source: ProVeg Applauds States' Actions to Promote Plant-Based Diets
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