Dietary guidelines need help

In the most recent days, surrounded by news of nothing but the pandemic, I have been asking the question, “What are we missing?” As we are now deluged 24-7 with COVID-19 “news,” it is all that is being discussed.

What is happening that we are not hearing about? At the top of that list is the 2020 plan to release new Dietary Guidelines by a committee formed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Why do we re-evaluate the dietary needs of American citizens every five years to begin with? I am curious about that because, in my mind, basic nutrition is the same as it was in 1918, the year my grandfather was born.

In fact, I think the current discussion about nutrition relative to challenged immune systems is finally getting a hardcore assessment. However, it appears that the folks in D.C. consider that irrelevant and instead of pursuing improvement in the guidelines opted for status quo. Good health through proper nutrition, supported by sound science, has been suppressed for over 40 years yet it appears for the next five years we will continue down the same path of erroneous direction we’ve gone in the past. We continue to use better nutrition to feed our livestock than we do to feed our people.

Last week, The Nutrition Coalition issued a public statement trying to rally folks to encourage a healthier direction with nutrition guidelines.

“We urgently need your help to ensure that the federal government does not continue to ignore large, government-funded rigorous clinical trials—the “gold standard” of evidence—that would likely reverse decades of misguided nutrition policy based on the subject of saturated fats.”

During the recent meeting of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the last such meeting before release of the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the committee revealed that it had failed to consider any of this evidence.

This omission is highly disturbing given that a growing number of prominent scientists over the past decade have concluded that the caps on saturated fats are not supported by the science.

Americans deserve a recommendation on dietary saturated fat that is based on the most current and rigorous science available. Join us in calling on the 2020 DGA Advisory Committee to critically review the most up-to-date evidence and modify its position on saturated fats accordingly.

I fully see how the current global issue of COVID-19 is causing folks to question the dietary information they have been getting. I have just visited an individual living in China and confirmed what we have been hearing about Chinese government demanding that every citizen consume dairy products on a daily basis to give greater strength to their immune system. In addition, we are seeing folks here at home finally understanding that red meat consumption is vitally important to building personal health. Beef is vital for so many reasons but at the top of that list is the ability of the blood cells to carry oxygen to the rest of the body. The many iron-deficient people in this country are now realizing the importance of beef’s nutrient density.

The bottom line is really that egg, red meat and dairy consumption are vitally important to healthy immune systems and individuals not consuming enough are struggling to stay healthy. It reminds me of the recovering vegan I recently had on the radio talking about how her body was simply not healing until she started eating animal products again.

Clearly the current virus discussion has been a disruption to the normal function of the market system but with what I am seeing in regard to the shift in consumer conscience, I believe a real correction is ahead. A greater understanding of the proper diet including milk, meat and eggs is now top of mind for people as they suddenly have time to understand and learn about what can really make them disease-resilient.

Of course for those of us who never lost sight of the old fashioned dietary values, singing the praises of it regularly would certainly go a long way to getting the word out and helping to turn the tide on a bleak economic situation in all of the ag world. Healthy humans, healthy bottom lines in rural America. Sounds like a win win to me.

Editor’s note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at, or email Trent at [email protected].