While meat has long been considered a staple of the American diet, consumer eating habits are clearly shifting towards healthier and more sustainable plant-based foods. This trend is changing the food landscape so extensively, so quickly that it even has the financial world planning for the possible “death of meat.”
The Nasdaq Stock Market, which is the largest stock exchange in the US, offers advice and tips to stockholders, and a recent article on its website warns “Meat’s predominance has begun to fade” noting that “Americans are eating less meat.”
Citing the long-established health risks of a meat-heavy diet, the article plainly states that “the reasons for declining meat consumption aren’t a mystery.” It then goes on to highlight one of the most recent and potent catalysts: the newly released recommendations for the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, which has removed “lean meat” from the list of healthful foods to eat.
The advisory committee drafted these Guidelines with more than just personal nutrition concerns in mind. It took a broader approach by also factoring in issues related to sustainability – specifically, how reducing meat consumption can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In fact, the proposal suggests that a diet higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods is “more health promoting and is associated with lesser environmental impact than is the current average US diet.”
Needless to say, the meat industry is up in arms about these proposed Guidelines. The final document is due out by the end of 2015, but the recommendations as drafted already speak volumes.
Nasdaq’s conclusion? “Investors shouldn’t underestimate the potential effect of this on the meat industry…. Think twice about holding long positions in meat industry stocks.”
The best way each of us can invest in our own futures and in the futures of generations to come is simply to choose healthier, kinder, and more sustainable foods. Learn more at TryVeg.com.
Erica Meier is the Executive Director of Compassion Over Killing. Follow her on twitter: @EricaMeier