Friday, May 1, 2009

Meatless Monday


This was my first week participating in the Meatless Monday campaign. While I am an omnivore, this campaign really isn't too much of a struggle since I frequently eat vegetarian meals anyway. However, making a formal weekly commitment will remind me to hold fast to healthy eating habits.

So, what's this Meatless Monday thing all about? Well, it's a national public health campaign in association with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to get people to adopt a more balanced approach to nutrition by limiting meat and saturated fat intake and by eating more veggies, fruits and whole grains.

Why do it? Typically, Americans eat way too much meat and not enough of the other stuff. Meatless Monday is good for your health and good for the environment. If we all commit to just one day a week without eating meat, the effect will be great over the course of the year:
  • Our greenhouse gas emission reductions equal us switching from a car with average fuel efficiency (that's about 22 mpg for the entire fleet) to a high-efficiency car such as the Toyota Prius (50 mpg)
  • We will save about 1 ton of water, enough to fill up the bathtub 22 times per week
  • If everyone in the US did this, we'd collectively save about 12 billion gallons of gasoline
Also, according to the Meatless Monday website: Diets high in saturated fat, found mainly in meat and high-fat dairy products, increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. And, a high-fat diet may increase the risk of certain types of cancer. These "lifestyle diseases" are killing Americans and in 80-90% of cases, deaths are preventable. By going meatless just one day a week reduces saturated fat intake by 15%.

Will you commit to going meatless on Mondays too?
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