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Mark Bittman

This evidence is overwhelming at this point. You eat more plants, you eat less other stuff, you live longer.

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I'll never stop eating animals, I'm sure, but I do think that for the benefit of everyone, the time has come to stop raising them industrially and stop eating them thoughtlessly.

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The current health crisis, however, is a little more the work of the evil empire. We were told, we were assured, that the more meat and dairy and poultry we ate, the healthier we'd be.

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The sad thing is, when it comes to diet, is that even when well-intentioned Feds try to do right by us, they fail. Either they're outvoted by puppets of agribusiness, or they are puppets of agribusiness.

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Our demand for meat, dairy and refined carbohydrates - the world consumes one billion cans or bottles of Coke a day - our demand for these things, not our need, our want - drives us to consume way more calories than are good for us.

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Let me pose you a question. Can farm-raised salmon be organic when its feed has nothing to do with its natural diet, even if the feed itself is supposedly organic, and the fish themselves are packed tightly in pens, swimming in their own filth?

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The USDA is not our ally here. We have to take matters into our own hands, not only by advocating for a better diet for everyone - and that's the hard part - but by improving our own. And that happens to be quite easy. Less meat, less junk, more plants.

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Thanks to farm subsidies, the fine collaboration between agribusiness and Congress, soy, corn and cattle became king. And chicken soon joined them on the throne. It was during this period that the cycle of dietary and planetary destruction began, the thing we're only realizing just now.

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