When you stop and really think about all the meat you consume in just one day, it starts to really add up. From bacon at breakfast, that chicken Caesar salad at lunch, to meat tacos for dinner, many of us chow down on several meat products each day. Do Your Part for the planet and your family’s health and go meatless for at least one day a week.
The “Meatless Monday” movement is quickly gaining steam across the country. There are celebrity chefs joining the cause, major magazines doing cover stories on the benefits, and websites devoted to helping people reduce the meat in their diet. Want to know why it’s a good thing? For one, going meatless at least one day a week will help you significantly lower the amount of saturated fat you eat, help you lose weight, cut down your risk of cancer and some preventable diseases such as diabetes. It also means you’ll be eating a more plant-based diet which is better for your heart and overall health. And don’t forget about the health of our planet. When we are eating at our favorite burger joint, we aren’t thinking about all the resources it takes to raise the livestock in this country. It’s estimated that it takes up to 2,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef. And there are the man-made greenhouse gasses to consider. About 1/5 of the greenhouse gasses we’re responsible for come from the meat industry.
Start cutting out some of the meat from your family’s diet by planning out your family’s meals for the week. By making a plan, it’ll be easier to keep your pledge of cutting out one day’s worth of meat each week. This is the perfect time to try out new vegetarian recipes. There are a ton of resources out there to help you create satisfying meat-free meals. Whether it’s a website or a new cookbook – inspiration is everywhere. Or, you can try substituting things like tofu for meat into some of your family’s favorite dishes or taste test some veggie burgers. It may take a little convincing on your part to get the whole family on board but making it fun by cooking together, visiting farmers’ markets, and trying out new foods can really help get everyone excited about this new family project. Check out DoYourPart.com/columns for a complete list of meat-free resources to help you get started and keep you motivated.
Remember, what you and your family eats has a direct impact on your health and the state of our planet. If you want to make the best choice for both, meatless Mondays are a perfect way to Do Your Part.
Terri Bennett is a veteran TV meteorologist, syndicated columnist, and host of DoYourPart.com where you can find everyday green living ideas that are better for you and the planet. Send questions to email@example.com.
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