Monday, April 26, 2010

Meatless Mondays

I've been doing a bit of thinking. You see, I've always cooked 2 meals at our house. One dish of meat-filled goodness and one vegetarian option -- usually what Henry and I are having minus the meat and with tofu or beans added -- for my dear partner who is a vegetarian. As an aside, Cin's vegetarianism isn't like my "phase" at university, where I dabbled in it because it was hip. She grew up as a Buddhist and thereby also as a veggiehead.

Sure, sometimes Henry and I eat what she is having. There are many good recipes and plans out there that allow children to get enough protein without meat products. I'll even go so far as to admit I feel better (less heavy, more fulfilled) when I have a meal without meat. But it is so hard to cancel out years of pro-meat conditioning when raising a child. (I grew up in the middle of America where you eat meat with every meal. Literally.)

So I've decided to commit to Meatless Mondays for the whole family. One day a week of thinking outside the box. (Well, thinking inside my veggie box, but that is a bit too cheesy for this post.) One day of offering Henry with protein alternatives and reevaluating what I was taught as a kid.

I wasn't the clever one to dream up MMs. For a great intro to the movement, check out:

It's a bit North America-centric, but you get the point. They also have  a great list of 'why go meatless'

  • REDUCE RISK OF HEART DISEASE. Beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds contain little to no saturated fats. Reducing your intake of saturated fats can help keep your cholesterol low and reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • IMPROVE OVERALL QUALITY OF DIET. Consuming dry beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.[2]
  • REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide . . . far more than transportation.[3] And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.
  • MINIMIZE WATER USAGE. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef.[4] Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.[5]
  • HELP REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE. On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S.[6] Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein.[7] Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand.
So anyone else up for Meatless Mondays? Anyone else already doing this and want to share about your experience? 

Check back every Monday for recipes and posts! Jess xx

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm... I couldn't COMMIT so much, but I do think meatless Monday's is a good idea - we get our veggie box on Mondays! That said, we do have meatless dishes from time to time! Great idea though!

    Honestly though - I couldn't imagine life with no pork chops :( Lol