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Meatless Monday Goes Mainstream

Meatless Monday Goes Mainstream

While I realize that many Care2 members are vegetarian or even vegan, a great many are not.  There are many reasons to give up meat, and for many people there is often more than one reason.

Many vegetarians have ethical problems eating meat, and that is their only reason. Another big reason people adopt a meat-free diet is for the health benefits derived from eating a plant based diet.

Still others adopt a vegetarian diet for its environmental benefits because it reduces energy consumption, and the amount of water and land necessary to raise animals.

Whatever the reasons, the choice to become vegetarian is a personal one and as hard as it is for many vegetarians to hear, there are many people who simply won’t give up meat.

But, for those carnivores who want to at least try to reduce their meat consumption, an initiative designed to help you do that has been gaining popularity: Meatless Monday.

It began in 2003, as a “a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health. We provide the information and recipes you need to start each week with healthy, environmentally friendly meat-free alternatives. Our goal is to help you reduce your meat consumption by 15% in order to improve your personal health and the health of the planet.”

Over 20 schools of public health have endorsed the campaign including Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia and Harvard.

Like many modern food and gardening movements, Meatless Monday was inspired by efforts during both World War I and II to help support the troops and to save food and energy needed for the war effort.

When one of the largest food service companies in the United States decides to embrace Meatless Monday, you know that it is making an impact and growing in popularity. Last Week Sodexo Food Service Company announced that it would be expanding its Meatless Monday campaign to over 900 of its hospital clients. It had been piloting the campaign at hospitals, colleges, and schools nationwide. This means they are offering and even promoting a plant-based entrée to its menu each Monday.

This is big news since hospital food is ironically some of the unhealthiest food around. Most food service companies in health care facilities have been the slowest to respond to the calls for healthier eating, locally and organically grown produce.

Hospitals aren’t the only places that the company is expanding its campaign.  It is available to government and corporate clients and by this fall, it will expand to all Sodexo cafeterias in colleges and schools, and it will pilot the Meatless Monday program for it’s senior living community clients.

Meatless Monday has become a global campaign and spread to countries including the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Israel.

Read more: All recipes, Career, Community, Conscious Consumer, Do Good, Eating for Health, Entrees, Food, Health, Life, ,

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Judi Gerber

Judi Gerber is a University of California Master Gardener with a certificate in Horticultural Therapy. She writes about sustainable farming, local foods, and organic gardening for multiple magazines. Her book Farming in Torrance and the South Bay was released in September 2008.

881 comments

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8:29AM PST on Feb 17, 2013

Thanks

6:12AM PST on Feb 17, 2013

Thanks :-)

11:15AM PST on Feb 16, 2013

Thanks for the article.

10:39AM PST on Feb 15, 2013

Thanks

10:00PM PST on Feb 12, 2013

Meatless everyday ;)

7:13PM PST on Feb 12, 2013

Great not to eat meat every day. Meatless days help the planet and people.

6:51PM PST on Feb 12, 2013

I only eat meat occasionally, so I think this is a great idea. There are many great meals that do not involve meat.

I have been eating a lot of Quorn lately, it is an easy substitute and is much healthier for you.

Taking into consideration the horse meat scare that is happening at the moment, I really wish that people would think about what is in their food, especially the cheap stuff (which are the parts of the animal that you would never eat willingly) and look for alternatives.

If you are a meat eater and I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here makes you squeamish when they are forced to eat testicles and anus's.... take a closer look at the next fast food meal you eat! Do you really think they waste the best cuts of beef on you? Lol.

12:51AM PST on Feb 12, 2013

"It is my view that the vegetarian manner of living, by its purely physical effect on the human temperament, would most beneficially influence the lot of mankind."
- Albert Einstein, physicist

8:38PM PST on Feb 11, 2013

who can afford it anyway, Love my veggies

6:31PM PST on Feb 11, 2013

Every day is meatless for me for 17 years :)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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