USDA Upsets Meat Lovers By Posting Internal Memo Pushing “Meatless Mondays” On Its Website

Encouraging your employees to go vegetarian one day a week might not seem like that big of a deal — unless you’re the United States Department of Agriculture, the agency tasked with promoting all agriculture products, including meat. The USDA said a post about “Meatless Monday” on its website was from an internal newsletter that went up without proper clearance.

The posting this week discussed how staff can reduce their environmental impact while dining at the USDA cafeteria, and referred to United Nations data that cites animal agriculture as a major source of greenhouse gases and climate change.

It read, in part:

“How will going meatless one day of the week help the environment? The production of meat, especially beef (and dairy as well), has a large environmental impact. According to the U.N., animal agriculture is a major source of greenhouse gases and climate change. It also wastes resources. It takes 7,000 kg of grain to make 1,000 kg of beef.”

“Meatless Monday” is a global campaign that was started by the School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. It aims to reduce meat consumption 15 percent “to improve your personal health and the health of the planet.”

The posting was taken down a few hours after the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association denounced it in a news release, calling the “Meatless Monday” campaign “an animal rights extremist campaign to ultimately end meat consumption” in a statement on the group’s website.

Once a USDA spokeswoman said the department doesn’t endorse the Meatless Monday initiative, the beef association thanked it for “swift action in pulling this disparaging statement off its website,” notes Politico. While the original posting has been taken down, the newsletter can still be viewed here.

Pro-meat Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa wasn’t happy with the USDA and has vowed to up his meat consumption in protest, tweeting:

“Shame USDA. One has to wonder whether the Dept of Ag supports Iowa farmers since it is promoting ‘meatless Monday’ for USDA employees. I will eat more meat on Monday to compensate for stupid USDA recommendation abt a meatless Monday.”

His fellow Iowan, Representative Steve King tweeted his love of meat as well:

“USDA HQ meatless Mondays!! At the Dept. of Agriculture? Heresy! I’m not grazing there. I will have the double rib-eye Mondays instead.”

USDA: Meatless Monday posting was a mistake [Associated Press]
Grassley threatens to ‘eat more meat’ [Politico]
Retracting a Plug for Meatless Mondays [New York Times]



Edit Your Comment

  1. abruke says:

    Sweet! Maybe we’ve finally found the solution of how to get rid of politicians?

  2. AtlantaCPA says:

    If the USDA is supposed to promote all agriculture, what’s wrong with devoting ONE day to promote vegetables and grains? Those senators sounds like petulant teenagers.

  3. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Actually, if meat prices keep going up like they have been here, it will be meatless Monday, meatless Tuesday, and meatless most of the week.

    I was able to score some beef for $1.99 pound today at my local store on sale. It’s already in the freezer. At that price, I’ll grind my own hamburger! I may go back tomorrow and get some more since it’s the last day of the sale.

    Meat prices here have risen to over $4.00/pound for most cheap cuts of beef, bacon is around $6 or more per pound, boneless chicken breasts around $3.99/lb, etc. Beans are starting to look pretty good!

    • HiddenFire79 says:

      Wow, if I could find boneless chicken breast for $3.99/lb I would be all over that. I like to purchase the whole sirloin tips, usually about $35-50 depending on the size and I can get A LOT of cuts for steak, roast, and grind the rest up for hamburger. It’s very cost effective and allows us to eat beef more regularly.

  4. Bladerunner says:

    “Shame on them!”
    “It’s stupid!”

    That’s idiot-speak for: they have good points but I don’t like it so there nyah!

  5. Coder4Life says:

    Hey we have an obesity problem, let’s promote more vegetables and fruits.
    Politician mindset: Meat company donations > farmers

    This is absurd. I will eat 2 steaks every Monday, and tax payers will pay for my rising healthcare costs.

  6. dks64 says:

    The meat industry is so political, it’s sickening.