Impact

2021 Highlights

As the global pandemic raged on for another year, Switch4Good gained more momentum and established exciting new benchmarks in 2021:

people reached

dairy-free actions at switch4good.org

total conversions of people going dairy-free

unique Podcast downloads

completed Lactose Intolerance Tests

Starbucks Justice Cup campaign reach

Changing the US Dietary Guidelines

Promoting cow’s milk as “health food” is a form of dietary racism when over 70% of non-white Americans are lactose intolerant. In 2020, the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee revised the Guidelines as they do every five years. We mounted a petition campaign to get dairy removed; to include non-dairy alternatives; and to provide education about lactose intolerance.

• Soy milk added to Guidelines as nutritionally equivalent to cow’s milk.

• 20,000 public comments in 10 days.

Actions

• Testified twice before the Dietary Guidelines Committee

• Met 4 times with USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

• Galvanized followers to flood public comments with demands to remove dairy from the Guidelines

Impact

We won. The 2020-2025 US Dietary Guidelines include soy milk as “nutritionally equivalent” to cow’s milk—with this language prominent in the dairy food group.

We made history. We generated 20,000 public comments in just 10 days—27% of the total—demanding dairy’s removal from the Guidelines.

Next steps

This is a significant victory. While dairy is still included as a food group, our united front prompted the USDA to take progressive action. We are working on a campaign to ensure soy milk is available in all public schools. Current federal law does not reflect the Guidelines’ recent inclusion of soy milk as a nutritionally equivalent alternative, and students must provide a doctor’s note to exempt themselves from taking a carton of cow’s milk under the National School Lunch Program. We resolve to change this.

Fighting Dietary Racism in Schools

The USDA mandates cow’s milk in schools to the detriment of over 50 million children. However, not only is milk the most common and severe food allergy in children under 16, but 70-95% of children of color are lactose intolerant. Yet federal law requires milk to be served with school meals in order for state authorities to be reimbursed by USDA for the meals provided. To make matters worse—even though we applied pressure and got soy milk added to the 2020 US Dietary Guidelines as “nutritionally equivalent” to cow’s milk—soy milk is not reimbursable, therefore schools cannot provide it to children who cannot digest cow’s milk. This is dietary racism, plain and simple. That’s why we’re demanding Equal Milk for All.

Actions

• Pressured USDA to recognize soy milk as “nutritionally equivalent to dairy milk” in the 2020 US Dietary Guidelines

• Sent letter to Secretary Vilsack requesting: (1) Full USDA reimbursement for schools to purchase soy milk; (2) Immediate Civil Rights Impact Analysis (CRIA) to identify systemic inequities in National School Lunch Program (NSLP); (3) Exploration of ways to make more plant-based milk alternatives available for schoolchildren

• Met with 10 Congress Members and their staffs in Washington DC to educate them on prevalence of lactose intolerance among children of color and press our case for soy milk reimbursement

• Joined by 20 additional racial and social justice organizations, supporting our fight

Impact

• Soy milk added to US Dietary Guidelines as nutritionally equivalent to cow’s milk

• Garnered 5 Congressional co-leads and 30 Members of Congress signed on to help us fight this battle

• Led by Rep. Troy Carter from Louisiana, ALL 50 MEMBERS of the Congressional Black Caucus voted to support our measure!

 

Challenging Dairy Propaganda with “Listen to Your Gut”

For decades, Big Dairy has told everyone they must drink milk to be healthy and strong. However, in truth, dairy sickens most people. And a growing number of successful athletes are performing at the top of their game on a dairy-free, plant-based diet. We mounted a broadcast media campaign to set the record straight called Listen to Your Gut.

• 30 million people reached.

• 265,000 dairy-free actions.

• 40% increase in web traffic.

Actions

• Ran 3 powerful TV spots on key NBC affiliates featuring 9 Olympic-level athletes

• Ran 3 radio ads, featuring the same athletes, for 3 months in 8 major media markets

Impact

We moved the needle. Listen to Your Gut was a massive 3-month effort with unprecedented national exposure. Our campaign reached over 30 million people with a simple, powerful message.

And with a 40% increase in website traffic—generating over 265,000 dairy-free actions —we clearly tapped into a pent-up desire people have to switch to a dairy-free lifestyle.

View the campaign commercials, here.

Challenging the World’s Biggest Restaurant Brand

Our Justice Cup campaign was designed to highlight a blatant example of systemic racial injustice that most people don’t even notice, but that is as common as a cup of coffee. Up to 95 percent of people of color cannot digest dairy, yet Starbucks charges up to 70 cents extra for non-dairy milk. That is dietary racism, even if the racism is unintentional. So, we partnered with The Yes Men to mount a “brandjacking” campaign, starting with a spoof Starbucks press release, announcing that the company was eliminating its non-dairy upcharge and instead charging more for drinks made with cow’s milk. The story quickly got traction in the media—and guess what? Less than three weeks after we launched the Justice Cup campaign, Starbucks UK dropped the non-dairy upcharge, followed shortly thereafter by the company’s Chilean and French operations.

Actions

• Executed multi-channel launch campaign including spoof announcements, Reveal video (claiming responsibility), and Dietary Racism explainer video

• After Starbucks UK dropped the upcharge, published Open Letter in Seattle Times urging Starbucks to also drop the upcharge in the US

• Ran micro-targeted digital and social ad campaign, aimed at key decision-makers, thought leaders, AND their personal and professional networks

Impact

• Starbucks UK, Chile, and France all dropped the plant milk upcharge

• Mainstream media credited Switch4Good for the policy change in the UK

• Reached 33 million consumers through traditional media alone—and millions more on social media

• Injected the term “dietary racism” into the national lexicon

Next steps

Keep up the pressure until Starbucks eliminates the non-dairy upcharge globally.

Fighting Climate Change With Diet Change

Earth Day’s 50th anniversary in 2020 was the first time the Earth Day Network (EDN) included diet in the climate change discussion. Switch4Good was the prime resource for the “fight climate change with diet change” theme. We worked closely with the Earth Day Network to educate the masses about the negative effects of dairy consumption on the planet.

• 2 million Switch4Good downloads in 24 hours.

• 3.8 million impressions.

Actions

• Spearheaded “fight climate change with diet change” messaging

• Outperformed all other live-streamed content for Earth Day

Impact

We put diet change on the global climate change map. Switch4Good content was incorporated into EDN’s global live stream and our content was streamed throughout Earth Day 2020. Our diet change public service announcement played to a live viewer audience of over 130,000 viewers.

Next steps

We are working on several enhancements of our Environmental Impact Calculator to further educate the world about the negative impacts of industrial dairy farming. We are also incorporating environmental topics more regularly into our social media and blog content.

Financial Reports

Your donation dollars are hard at work, promoting human health and performance, fighting dietary racism, advocating for climate justice, and saving dairy cows.

Where Does Your Money Go?

For every dollar you give, 87% goes directly toward ending the consumption of dairy. We spend the rest on fundraising and admin needs. We rely 100% on passionate donors like you to make an impact.

View our 990.

40% Dairy-Free Outreach & Campaigns Focused on Human Behavior Change
20% Corporate Partnerships & Major League Sports Teams Engagement
18% Legal Advocacy – Policy Change at State and Federal Levels
13% Admin, Finance, and Business Intelligence
9% Scientific Research
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