August 29th, 2011

Why I Do Meatless Monday (and you should too!)

For those of you who don’t know, Meatless Monday is a movement to remove meat from the average American’s diet one day a week, reducing consumption by 15%. I started out doing Meatless Mondays, and now my boyfriend and I eat meatless all the time (you’ve probably noticed that most of the recipes on this blog are either meatless or easily converted). It may seem like a strange proposition, especially to people who think vegetarians are crazy, but trust me, there are more reasons to do Meatless Monday than just to reduce the killing of animals (although that is a great reason). In fact, here are five:

  1. It’s Healthier. Going meatless one day a week may reduce your risk of  “chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.” according to The Monday Campaign. Having some lean meat can be very healthy, but the processed, fatty meat that most Americans eat is not. So cutting it out one day a week reduces calories and cholesterol, and trust me, you’ll feel so much better (and less guilty on Tuesday when you chow on your cheeseburger).
  2. It’s Greener. Which do you think causes more greenhouse gas emissions; transportation or meat production? It’s meat production, and cutting it down by 15% will help make the planet healthier by reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the same reason you walk to work or buy a hybrid. We retrofit homes and plug in cars, when a lot of progress can be made by just buying a little bit less in the meat department (not that you shouldn’t do those other things too).
  3. It’s Kinder. I know that I’ve tried to rope you in by pretending this isn’t about cute baby cows and pigs. But it is, just a little. Think about all the little baby oinks locked up in pens, waiting to be slaughtered. Reducing your meat consumption reduces the amount of animals who are being inhumanly treated on meat farms. Of course, there are great meat farmers out there, so when you do buy meat, try to buy the most hormone-free, free range, organic meat you can find. Guilt trip over.
  4. It’s Cheaper. Who doesn’t want to save money!?! Think about how much you spend on meat for 5 weeknight dinners. I know that my little apartment of two saves about $5 for each dinner we eat meatless. That’s, minimum, $250 a year. Imagine how much your family could save.
  5. It’s EASY! The main reason we eat meatless is that it’s so incredibly easy! Much easier than cooking meat every night. The key is to remember that the meal still needs protein, but protein is available from so many sources (a personal favorite being cheese!).

For these reasons, and more, this blog will be going meatless on Mondays. Check back each week for great recipe ideas. Some will be my own creations, some will be great recipes from the Rodale Recipe Finder, and some will be classics that I have converted to be meatless. And I promise, there won’t be any crazy baked tofu and seitan pies. These will be meatless recipes for meat fans and picky eaters. I’m going to bring you over to the dark side…we have delicious recipes!

Today I leave you with a really simple recipe from my favorite of all meatless food options – Italian!

Angel Hair Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce – for the full recipe, click here

mm2

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