More than 23 million meals are served every year at national parks across the country, from Acadia to Yosemite. This makes the National Park Service one of the largest purchasers of food in the federal government, giving it the responsibility to serve meals that are good for people, wildlife and the environment.
The Service took a step in the right direction when it created the Healthy Food Healthy Parks campaign in 2012. But its standards for food-service providers are already out of date and fail to do enough to protect our parks from the harm to the environment caused by meat production and food waste.
Recent studies show that meat production is the single greatest threat to biodiversity and that we’ll be unable to meet international climate goals without reducing meat and dairy consumption. In addition, about 40 percent of food in the United States goes uneaten, which wastes all the natural resources that went into producing it.
The National Park Service should be a leader in setting the standard for sustainable menus and food-waste reduction. Tell it to update its guidelines to serve less meat and more plant-based foods, and prevent food waste in the parks.
September 24, 2016 Action Alert ID# 426
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