Meatless Mondays

By Marsha Hudnall
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I love ratatouille!

You may have already heard about the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health initiative Meatless Monday.  I know I’ve seen it floating around on Twitter but hadn’t really understood it was a campaign mounted by a prestigious health care institution to “reduce meat consumption by 15% to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

According to their website, going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.  Here’s a small sample of how.

Nutritionally…

  • Beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds contain little to no saturated fats.  Too much saturated fat — found in meat — can increase risk of heart disease.
  • Plant foods are rich in fiber; meat isn’t (it actually doesn’t contain any).  Research does suggest that fiber-rich eating fills you up without contributing too many calories.
  • Plant foods also contribute protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium, important nutrition for good health.

Environmentally….

  • The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions…more than transportation!
  • Livestock uses tremendous amounts of water.  To produce a pound of beef, it takes 1800 to 2500 gallons of water vs. 220 gallons per pound of tofu.
  • About 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef vs. 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce 1 calorie of plant-based protein.

And if all the data isn’t enough, check out these fabulous recipes from the site:  Fettucine Florentine & Curry Hummus with Raisins.  Plus, there’s much more where those came from.  Yum!

Do you have a favorite meatless dish?

Photo by flame via stock.xchang

10 Responses (Add Yours)

  • I love mushroom stroganoff…by far my fave meatless meal!
    .-= Trish @IamSucceeding’s last blog post..I Can’t Believe It’s Over! =-.

  • Sherry says:

    My favorite soup in the world is Chef Lisa’s White Bean and Kale Soup. And I’ve started making my usual vegetable-rich meat sauce with chick peas instead of ground beef — I serve it with spelt spaghetti and some grated parmesan.
    .-= Sherry’s last blog post..Mindful Jet Lag =-.

  • Lori says:

    I love egg dishes. Fritattas, omelets, egg sandwiches. Yum!
    .-= Lori’s last blog post..Vegging out. =-.

  • Jayme says:

    Just found your website and love it! I think this is a great idea, and will implement it immediately. I think I could go meatless more often than not. My fav meatless meal at the moment is black beans and rice.

  • Kerry says:

    There are so many favorites, but the simplest is grilled cheese and tomato soup, and the most elegant is Mushroom Bourguignon.
    .-= Kerry’s last blog post..NuWave Dinner II =-.

  • I just found your website and I love it! I usually try to eat one meal a day with eggs (breakfast) and one meal a day with beans and then my dinner has meat or fish. It works for me, but I could try having a meatless Monday!
    .-= Vicky Delgada’s last blog post..An Open Love Letter =-.

  • Marsha says:

    Love all your ideas, especially when they contain mushrooms. Mushrooms add such a rich flavor in cooked dishes.

    Vicky — sounds like you’re doing great with a vegetarian meal every day. and with beans! a wonderful food from a lot of standpoints.

  • DaniJo says:

    Does it completely defeat the purpose if you cook with beef/chix/ham stock or throw a hamhock in?

  • Marsha says:

    DaniJo,

    It might not be in keeping with the Meatless Monday mission but it’s a great way to get the most use out of the meat we do eat. Making stock from leftover bones, or using a part that’s underused and hence often thrown away, is being a responsible meat eater, I think.

  • Chef Lisa says:

    Sherry – thanks for the shout out! I’ll have to do that soup for one of my blog posts soon, before the soup season has totally left us. :) And welcome, new friends!

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