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Meatless Monday helps your health, budget and the planet

Meatless Monday, a group that encourages people to skip meat one day a week, encourages people to mark the end of Mardi Gras on Feb. 24 with less meat consumption.

Mardi Gras – also known as Carnival or Fat Tuesday – has been a time to consume the last bits of fat and meat in the home in preparation for Lent. Carnival comes from the Latin words carne vale or “farewell to the flesh.”

26851 Meatless Monday, a project of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future, believes many good reasons exist to reduce the meat in American diets – to improve health, help the environment, and improve economic conditions.

Robert Lawrence, M.D., center director, suggests that people can reap big benefits by forgoing meat just one day a week:

It's easier than you think, but the payoff can be huge. Eating less meat not only helps lower cholesterol and decrease cancer risks, it reduces your carbon footprint and helps conserve fresh water. And plant-based meals cost less money, an added bonus during these economically tough times.

Diets high in meat are tied to increased rates of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and other common chronic preventable ailments, according to Meatless Monday. With American children contracting  what used to be considered adult-only diseases like diabetes and millions of overweight kids at risk for high cholesterol and heart disease, reducing meat consumption is preventative medicine.
 
28775 At the United Nations Summit on Global Warming in December, meat production was cited as a primary source of greenhouse gas. Meat farming also depletes and pollutes our water supplies. A single pound of beef can take up to 5,000 gallons of fresh water to produce, and waste from factory farms poisons ground water and surface water.

Meatless Monday's goal consistent with the recommendations of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and American Heart Association is to help Americans reduce consumption of saturated fat 15 percent by 2010. That means people would need to eliminate saturated fat one day a week.
 
Meatless Monday’s online database of recipes can help people who don’t eat meat during Lent and want to continue to eat less meat. Among the group’s receipts are:

For more recipes and ideas about reducing meat in your diet all year long, see Meatless Monday’s Web site.

The group has a weekly newsletter called Eater’s Digest Monday.

Copyright 2009, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist

Comments

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Deane

Great work raising awareness about our new world of meatlessness!

There is no better way to make your carbon footprint / consciousness more modest, moral and meaningful!

If you want to learn more about the effects of grazing on the landscape look to hilly outskirts of any major town / city and notice those bare rolling hills of brief green mostly brown grass... That's what meat and dairy do to hills that would ordinarily be loaded with hundreds of species of trees / plants / bugs and the wildlife that depends on 'em...

Also for more info check this link:
http://forestpolicyresearch.org/tag/grazing/

Oh and here's one I posted to my
http://twitter.com/forestpolicy account last night: 10 Popular Studies on Meat and Global Warming http://bit.ly/EI5x2 about 11 hours ago

Long live the trees, Deane

Rita

Hi Deane,

Thanks for your comment and the links.

Deane has a great Web site on what's going on in the forests in America and around the world. He does terrific work, writing more than 20 blogs a day!

I'll be writing an article soon about his blog.

Yes, long live the trees. There's so much happening in the forests in the world. People need to be informed about it so they can take action.

Rita

Price of Meat

Thanks for sharing the word about Meatless Mondays! And glad you like the post.

Here's an interesting fact to go with it (according to Meat the Truth the documentary), if every American went meatless once a week, it would be the equivalent of removing the greenhouse gases from 90 million tickets from SF to LA and BACK. That's crazy.

Hi Rita, f you're on twitter, check out - http://twitter.com/priceofmeat . If you're not on twitter, I highly recommend it! :)

Rita

Hi Price of Meat,

Thanks for your comment. I appreciate the information on how reducing meat consumption once a week could help reduce greenhouse gases.

Rita

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