standing letters

“Best diet for planet isn’t best for humans” in the Feb. 9 issue of The Westerly Sun opens a can of worms even if mopane worms, enjoyed in Botswana, go missing from the best diet list. Similar to the tenet that there is no average person in the 2.53-person “average” American household in 2018, we can talk about a best diet but will never be the “perfect” diet for any individual with the acknowledgement that “perfect” only exists in the dictionary and the Scrabble board. While food’s “Nutritional Facts” labeling is a useful guide, all individuals are different and require varying levels of different nutrients and vitamins to achieve optimal health. This underscores the importance of knowing yourself and how you react to differing inputs and exposures that, without knowing you, no expert can predict with certainty.

But let the following universal guidelines act as your starting point:

1. A plant-based diet is remarkably less intensive on the planet’s finite resources than a meat-based diet, with your diet most likely the largest impact on your carbon footprint.

2. With so many great AA’s (animal alternatives), there are no excuses for perpetuating 2019 animal cruelty apathy ... we all enjoy great-tasting food, but with most constrained to a 2,000-calorie limit, there’s encouragement everywhere to derive this enjoyment from animal alternatives, helping to end “Animal Auschwitz” (AA2) [Visit Animal Liberation Activist Gary Yourofsky “Greatest Speech” on YouTube for compelling inspiration.].

3. Factory farming pumps animals with growth hormones and antibiotics to ensure they’ll arrive alive at their slaughter in the shortest possible time. Do you really want to support this practice, consuming all these drugs in the process?

4. Before you read another health study, check who’s funding the research. Similar to the climate denial scientists funded by the fossil-fuel industry, Upton Sinclair warned us, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on him not understanding it”.

5. Know your priorities: Food consumption depends upon the importance you assign to nutritional value, price, taste, cost, moral implications and convenience with the competing influences determining your food choices.

Our diet might be the biggest influence we have on this world. and please remember: Every dollar you spend casts a vote for the world you want to live in.

Jay Lustgarten


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