I’ve been reading a lot lately about the Meatless Monday movement, an international campaign to get everyone to reduce their meat consumption by 15 percent for not only our own health, but the health of the planet.
Works for me.
The most recent story I read about the movement was in The Huffington Post. It was written by Chris Elam, Meatless Monday program manager. “Americans consume an astonishing amount of protein,” Elam wrote. “USDA statistics reveal that U.S. men eat as much as 190% of their recommended daily protein allowance, while women eat as much as 160%, the great majority of which comes from saturated-fat heavy meat and meat products.”
A week ago, the Washington Post reported that each of top chef Mario Batali’s 14 restaurants would offer two vegetarian entrees on Mondays. Also on the bandwagon: hospitals, Baltimore public schools, the city of San Francisco and more than 30 college campuses. And that’s just in the U.S.
What surprised me most was the fact that all proteins – meat or vegetable – are made up of the same amino acids. So there’s no benefit of choosing beef over beans, but there is a benefit if you choose beans over beef: you get fiber, vitamins and minerals and precious little fat.
I have no problem eating my veggies, and occasionally prepare meatless meals just for a change of pace. Going entirely meat-free just once week no doubt will be a good thing. I mean, what doctor has ever told you to eat less broccoli, more steak?
While we’re at it, can you imagine something like Sugarless Saturdays? Fructose-free Fridays?
Would probably make a dent in the national obesity crisis, as people start to embrace a new way of eating.
So I’m going for it. Meatless Mondays, it is.
Just not THIS Monday. It is Memorial Day, after all.
All normal people love meat. If I went to a barbeque and there was no meat, I would say ‘Yo Goober! Where’s the meat?’ I’m trying to impress people here, Lisa. You don’t win friends with salad. ~ Homer Simpson
Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.