Thursday, July 9, 2009

Meatless Mondays

Meatless Mondays are becoming a nationwide trend. During both world wars, the current presidents called on citizens to lessen their meat consumption, among other things. It quickly became an initiative to raise awareness, to encourage a healthier society and to sustain the environment.

Abstaining from meat one day a week reduces the risk of heart disease, helps maintain a healthy weight and improves overall quality of a diet. According to the Meatless Mondays Web site, beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Beans and peas also result in higher fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium intakes. Fiber aids in weight loss and prevents overeating.

“It was my intention to give my system a break every few days,” Angela D. said.

Angela is a mother from Northern California who, along with her youngest daughter, adopted “Meatless Mondays.”

“I found that not worrying about what I couldn't eat as opposed to what I could, made following this plan easy to stick to,” she said.

The impact on the environment is substantial as well. The meat industry is responsible for one-fifth of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. If everyone abstained from meat for one day weekly, the benefits would be great. Meatless Mondays also reduce fossil fuel dependence and minimize water usage.

Sixteen ounces of soy requires 220 gallons of water while sixteen ounces of red meat requires 2000 gallons of water. Meatless Mondays saved 890 gallons of water which is enough to fill approximately 22 40-gallon bathtubs!

The John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future formally introduced Meatless Mondays in response to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report, “Healthy People 2010.” One of its goals is to reduce saturated fat intake by 10%. offers several meat-free recipes.

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