By Pat Hunt
I have just finished reading the February 2015 issue of the “New Mexico Stockman,” the magazine for southwestern agriculture published by the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association. A lot of the information reviewed in this issue concerns the USDA food pyramid. The pyramid was revamped into “My Plate” in 2010. The plate divides the food groups into five divisions with recommendations for portion sizes. Much to the concern of ranchers and their cattle associations, the protein percentage of the plate is getting smaller and has to share its meager percentage with a strong recommendation to vary the type of protein—away from meat. In fact, in addition to revising the pyramid structure away from meat protein, there is a campaign to promote the idea that a diet higher in plant-based foods and low in animal-based foods is not only healthier but more environmentally friendly. There are many environmental groups that are anti-cattle and they are putting pressure on USDA to reduce meat portions, thus serving their purpose to eliminate ranching.