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Beef-Free UCSF

As part of the newly launched UCSF Bridges Curriculum, a group of first-year medical students participated in a two-week intensive course on global warming in January 2017. Learning of the detrimental impact of ruminant meat on our health and climate, the students drafted a letter to UCSF departments calling for an end to purchasing and serving beef and lamb. The letter was further discussed by all first-year medical students in March 2017, after which more than one-third of the class signed on. In an effort to promote accountability, the UCSF Office of Sustainability has agreed to publicize the departments at UCSF that commit to going beef- and lamb-free at department events.

Committed Departments

Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, UCSF School of Medicine
Department of Urology, UCSF School of Medicine
Department of Ophthalmology, UCSF School of Medicine

Open Letter from UCSF School of Medicine’s 2016 Entering Class

Dear Department Chair,

As first-year medical students at UCSF, we write to ask if your department will be a leader in sustainability and commit to going beef- and lamb-free.

The commitment is that your department (a) will not purchase beef or lamb with departmental funds and (b) will not serve beef or lamb at departmental events.

Ruminant meat including beef and lamb has staggering impacts on our health and the climate. Not only does ruminant meat increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, cancer, and all-cause mortality, but its production also emits 5 times more greenhouse gasses per gram of protein than that of other livestock like pork and poultry.

As such, reducing beef and lamb consumption is one of the most impactful ways we can contribute to a sustainable future.

The UCSF Office of Sustainability is publishing on its website the names of departments at UCSF that make the above commitment.

Please let us know if your department will be among them. We are happy to answer any questions and discuss this effort further.

Sincerely,

Dominic Amara, BA
Lily Barnard, BS
Alexander Beagle, BA
Marissa Chou, BA
Faranak Dayani Dardashti, BS
Michael Deng, BA
Cameron Donald, MS
Max Feinstein, BS
Fabian Fernandez, MPH
Amalia Gonzalez, BS
Laurence Henson, BS
Natalie Hernandez, BA
Julia Heunis, BA
Elaine Hsiang, AB
Justin Inman, BA
Morgan Kelly, BA, MPH
Nathan Kim, BA
Sravani Kondapavulur, BS
Maya Ladenheim, BA
Lillian Lai, BS
Briton Lee, BA
Emma Levine, BA
Rachel Levy, ScB
Eric John Lopez, BSc
Simon Ma, BA
Talia Mahony, BA
Arienne Malekmadani, BA
Sivan Marcus, BS
Jessie Margolis, MS
Omar Mesina, BA
Cody Mowery, BS
Audrey Nichols, RN BSN
Jason Parad, MPH, MBE
Nikhil Rajapuram, BSE
Vidhatha Reddy, BA
Carolyn Rennels, BA
Brittany Robinson, BA
Camille Rogine, BA
Marci Rosenberg, BS
Sarah Rosenberg-Wohl, MPH
Hayley Schultz, BA
Lee Seligman, BA
Sikai Song, BA
Hannah Stone, BA
Lakshmi Subbaraj, BS
Raagini Suresh, BS
Ellen Tsay, BS, MS
Neil Vaishnav, JD
Amy Wang, BA
Gabriela Weigel, BS
Albert Young, BA
Linda Yu, BS
Shirley Zhao, BA

First-Year MD Candidates
UCSF School of Medicine

References:

Eshel, G., Shepon, A., Majov, T., & Milo, R. (2014). Land, irrigation water, greenhouse gas, and reactive nitrogen burdens of meat, eggs, and dairy production in the United States. PNAS, 111, 11996-12001.

Steinfeld, H., Gerber, P., Wassenaar, T., Castel, V., Rosales, M., & de Haan, C. (2006). Livestock’s long shadow: Environmental issues and options. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved from ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/010/a0701e/a0701e00.pdf

Goodland, R. & Anhang, J. (2009). Livestock and climate change: What if the key actors in climate change were pigs, chickens and cows? Worldwatch. Retrieved from http://www.worldwatch.org/files/pdf/Livestock%20and%20Climate%20Change.pdf

Ranganathan, J., Vennard, D., Waite, R., Lipinski, B., Searchinger T., Dumas, P., … Mungkung, R. (2016, Apr). Shifting diets for a sustainable food future. Working Paper, Installment 11 of Creating a Sustainable Food Future. World Resources Institute: Washington, D. C.

Tilman, D. & Clark, M. (2014). Global diets link environmental sustainability and human health. Nature 515, 518-522.