Meatless Monday: Are You In?

Do you do ‘Meatless Monday’ in your house?

We do. Just don’t tell my husband. He hasn’t caught on just yet. (I’m totally serious).

You’ve probably heard the term, but do you know about the movement behind it? I recently wandered over to Meatless Monday (yes, there is a website) to read about this healthy trend that has been steadily gathering steam, and I must say, I’m quite impressed. They’ve got recipes. They’ve got facts. They’ve even got a pledge you can take to go meatless on Mondays. Pretty cool stuff.

Even cooler? The health and environmental benefits that occur from giving up meat only ONE DAY PER WEEK.

Health Benefits:

Environmental Benefits:

  • REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide . . . far more than transportation. And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.
  • MINIMIZE WATER USAGE. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.
  • HELP REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE. On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein. Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand.

Courtesy of meatlessmonday.com

I think what I love so much about this campaign is that going meatless one day per week is a very simple change. And not only is it great for your health, it’s also fabulous for your budget. Meat is expensive!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a total carnivore. But lately I’ve been rethinking my meat consumption. I’m taking quality into account over quantity. I’d rather have a small portion of a really perfect steak over a ginormous piece of meat that is only okay.

I’m also trying to think of meat as a side dish rather than the main event. Sometimes it’s tough – I come from a family where meat is the centerpiece of the meal. Now I’m loading up on a bunch of vegetables and use meat as a flavoring. Diced chicken on a salad. Kebabs with a few pieces of pork and a bunch of pineapple and peppers.

Are you thinking of going meatless on Monday? If you think it’s going to be hard, have no fear. There are SO MANY fabulous recipes out there that contain no meat – we even have several over at Shrinking Kitchen! And if you’re not feeling super creative, you can always do breakfast for dinner. A big omelet full of vegetables – who could complain about that? You’ll never miss the meat!

So, do you do Meatless Monday? Thinking about it? Or heck, no!? Let us know in the comments!

 

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  • ItsMeVsMe

    We typically go meatless at least once a week, sometimes more than that. We love it!

  • Vegetarians

    At least once a week I try to cook food that does not have meat but the kids can tell it. Are there suggestions you can give to make food taste like meat without them detecting it?