Interesting question…it is a topic I am sure we will hear much more about in the months and years to come.
Meatless Monday is becoming a global initiative and it is growing. The goal of the movement is to skip eating meat one day a week by substituting non-meat proteins to improve our health and the health of the planet. It was specifically set on Monday so that we can refocus our habits for a healthy week in case we have strayed from our healthy plan over the weekend.
There are many intended benefits for participating in Meatless Monday including:
- Increasing our consumption of plant based foods for our health which has been shown to prevent chronic disease including heart disease and cancer
- Reducing the effect on non-sustainable resources when raising meat – vegetable production requires less water than beef production (estimated 39 gallons vs. 1,850 gallons respectively)
- Reducing the carbon footprint when going meatless since vegetables create less greenhouse gas than beef production therefore environmentally friendly
- Helping with your food budget as plant based meals can be less expensive than meals with meat
In the Healthy People 2010 report from the US Surgeon General there is a recommendation that we reduce our meat consumption by 15% in order to reduce our saturated fat intake. This reduction is approximately equal to going meatless one day a week.
Here are some suggestions for a nutritious dinner meal for the next Meatless Monday. You can find these recipes at http://www.meatlessmonday.com/favorite-recipes/
- Corn and Black Bean Burritos
- Great Northern White Chili
- Spicy Couscous and Chickpeas
- Veggie Chow Mein
- Hopi Vegetable Stew
- Mediterranean Vegetable Noodle Soup
Any vegetarian meal that you and your family enjoy that substitutes beans, tofu, quinoa and other protein rich foods in place of meat will help you have a Meatless Monday.
I would love to hear how you make meals that are Meatless on Monday and what your family thought about the change.