9 Meatless Monday Facts
Who came up with Meatless Mondays?
Meatless Monday was started in 2003 by a man named Sid Lerner along with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Center for a Liveable Future. Together, they launched this global campaign to reduce meat consumption worldwide.
Since then, The Monday Campaigns and the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, has helped people in over 40 countries kick off their own campaigns to eat less meat. The goal of this initiative is to live healthier and protect the environment.
Why is Meat Bad For Our Health?
There are lots of reasons why meat is not-so-great for your health. It’s full of saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Eating meat, especially processed meat, is known to increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses. Processed meats include foods like sausage, bacon, and hot dogs.
According to a well-known study by the Harvard School of Public Health, eating red meat is linked to an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease or cancer.
Why is Meat Bad for Climate Change?
The connection between meat consumption and climate change is complex. According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization, meat and dairy account for around 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Meat production increases greenhouse gas emissions in a couple of ways. For example, cows emit methane, a greenhouse gas, through cows’ burps, farts, and manure. An increase in the demand for meat and dairy means an increase in cattle. More cattle means more methane gas emissions.
Nitrous oxide, another greenhouse gas, comes from chemical fertilizers. These chemicals are sprayed on crops used to feed cattle. More animals mean more feed. And more feed means more chemicals.
An increase in livestock also requires more land for the animals to graze. In order to make space for these animals, trees are cut down. And we all know how important trees are for our environment. They remove carbon dioxide from the air, store carbon, and release oxygen for us to breathe.
The amount of meat we consume makes up a large part of our carbon footprint. The problem with greenhouse gases is complex, but we can all do something to offset the effects. According to the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, reducing our beef consumption, even just one day a week, is a step in the right direction.
Why is Meat Bad for Our Use of Resources?
Raising animals requires lots of land, water, soil, and crops. To produce food for livestock, farmers use large amounts of fertilizer. That same fertilizer gets filtered into the soil and into our rivers, streams, and lakes. It seems we’re poisoning our own water systems for the sake of steak on our plate..
According to the Water Footprint Network, it takes about 1,800 gallons of water to produce 1 lb of beef.
On the other hand, according to Dana Hunnes at UCLA Sustainability, “a plant-based diet can reduce water consumption by up to 50 percent.”
Choosing to eat plant-based meals just one day a week can help preserve our natural resources and improve our environment.
How Much Money Can You Save By Not Eating Meat?
Meatless Mondays aren’t just great for your health and the environment, they’re great for your wallet too. According to a study by Sous Vide Guy, eating a plant-based diet will save you about $23/week on your grocery bill. If you have the means to grow your own fruits and veggies, you’ll be able to save even more. Buying fresh, in-season foods can keep more coins in your wallet.
What Can I Cook Instead Of Meat?
If you’re starting a Meatless Monday routine, it’s easy to start with familiar recipes. Just skip the meat. So instead of serving spaghetti and meatballs, try spaghetti with extra veggies.
Start with foods you love that are already meatless. Load up on your favorite fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and grains.
Skipping the meat doesn’t mean you have to skip the flavor. In fact, you can focus on new spices and sauces. Chances are you’ll find delicious recipes that become family favorites.
What is Fake Meat And Can I Eat This On A Monday?
If you’re starting a plant-based diet and feel like something’s missing, that’s okay. Faux meat fills the void. Meat alternatives are often made with plant-based proteins like soy, peas, or nuts. They are a great substitute in your favorite meat-filled recipes.
Try Neat’s plant-based, meatless options. They’re made with pecans, garbanzo beans, and spices:
- Neat Italian Mix: Great for meatballs and pasta sauce.
- Neat Southwest Mix: Perfect for a burrito bowl or pizza topping.
- Neat Mexican Mix: Awesome for tacos and nachos.
- Neat Original Mix: Great for burgers and sloppy joes.
If you’re craving some fish, try Tuno’s substitute for tuna. Add it to a sandwich, salad, or casserole. It’s vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and made with soy protein. It’s a delicious switch for fish.
Where Can I Eat Out for Meatless Mondays?
Lots of restaurants these days are getting in on the Meatless Monday momentum. They’re serving up creative, new recipes with lots of fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains. According to The Monday Campaigns, there are lots of restaurants serving meatless meals as part of the initiative.
Even fast food chains are joining the movement. Burger King is cooking up Impossible Burgers, and McDonald’s launched its new McPlant sandwich, which made its debut in Europe in early 2021.
Before hitting up your favorite dinner spot, check out their online menu for meatless dishes. You’ll be surprised to find quite a few plant-based foods. You can also ask the waiter to skip the meat or have them replace it with a plant-based option, like beans.
Can I do a Campaign for Meatless Mondays?
Schools, restaurants, communities, and businesses are diving into the Meatless Monday movement. To kick off your own Meatless Monday campaign, check out The Monday Campaigns. They will give you all of the resources you need to get started. Don’t wait till Monday. Get started today!
Why Meatless Monday is Good for the Environment
Meatless Mondays bring awareness to the environmental effects of eating meat. This program is a call to change our eating habits and food system.
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), “If the entire U.S. did not eat meat or cheese for just one day a week, it would be the equivalent of not driving 91 billion miles—or taking 7.6 million cars off the road.”
Joining forces with people around the world brings action and excitement. It’s hard for one person to change the whole world. But when we band together, we can help improve our water, air, and soil. When everyone works together, we can improve our own health and the health of the planet.
You have the opportunity to make a big impact on our world that will benefit people for generations. Join the Meatless Monday movement today!