USDA recently launched a school lunch recipe contest that excludes meat from the recipe categories. That move, along with the USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recommendation to move to a plant-based diet, is sending the wrong message to consumers, says Kristina Butts, director of legislative affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).
Butts encourages grassroots consumers and producers to submit recipes to USDA showcasing how lean beef compliments vegetables and fruits. “USDA never specified that they won’t accept meat recipes but failed to include a specific category for the protein,” she says. “We have plenty of well-balanced recipes that include beef, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. We encourage our members to step up and show beef working in a healthy diet.”