Thursday, May 31, 2012

Meatless Mondays - good for you, good for the planet

If you’re reading this today it's because you care about what you eat and about what's happening to our climate.  Many people do too. That's why Meat Free Monday was started.
The principle is that by giving up meat for one day each week you can save money, reduce your environmental impact and live a healthier life.
Celebrities have joined the cause including – Oprah, Sir Richard Branson, James Cameron and Paul Mccartney.
Meatless Monday is all about helping people cut their meat consumption by 15 percent. This percentage equals one day a week and by slightly changing eating habits, people can reduce their risks of preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.  Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for both men and women in America.  A recent Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (meat and full fat dairy) with foods rich in polyunsaturated fat (vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19 percent.  Hundreds of studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk, particularly colon cancer.  Research also suggests that lower consumption of red and processed meat reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.  Likewise people on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body weights and body mass indices.  Finally regarding diet, consuming beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.
In 2006, a United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization report, Livestock’s Long Shadow, highlighted the environmental impact of meat-eating and the importance of making more environmentally and socially conscious food choices.   The campaign is to encourage people to think about the environmental consequences of what you eat.  To think about the energy, water and chemicals used to produce food, as well as the fuel it takes to get it to your plate. Meat is also one of the most resource intensive foods to produce.
The campaign is not asking you to give up meat completely; it’s encouraging you to do your bit to help protect our planet. B y joining together in having one meat-free day each week we’ll be making great steps towards reducing the environmental problems associated with the meat industry.  You’ll also be giving your own health a boost, and with the added benefit that vegetables cost less than meat, having one meat-free day each week means it’s good for your pocket too.
So join us and see how one day a week can make a world of difference because it’s holistic changes which can improve our society, as well as our environment.