Is Meatless Monday a real thing? Not only is Meatless Monday a real thing, but it is also a global movement that encourages people to reduce meat in their diet for their health and the health of the planet. The idea was first introduced during World War I to reduce consumption to help the war effort. In 2003 Meatless Monday was revived as a non-profit public health initiative by Sid Lerner, the Founder of The Monday Campaign, in association with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.
Not eating meat can make a difference in your health and the health of our planet. Replacing meat with plant-based choices offers numerous health benefits. It also helps aid in the fight against reducing Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from production to transportation. The beauty of Meatless Monday is that you will reduce your carbon footprint and help conserve our precious environmental resources.
For Your Health
Consuming less red and processed meat and more plant-based foods such as vegetables, beans, soy, and nuts can offer many potential health benefits:
- Eating less meat and more plant-based foods, such as vegetables, beans, and nuts, can improve heart health and reduce the risk of heart disease
- Skipping even a half serving of meat every day and replacing it with a plant protein like beans or tofu can decrease your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
- Substituting plant-based foods for meat can help you maintain a healthy weight.
- Cutting back on red and processed meat and eating more plant-based foods can promote kidney health.
- Beans, nuts, soy, and other vegetables can give you all the protein you need in one day.
For the Planet
Reducing the consumption of meat can help contain the production of greenhouse gases that impact climate change. It can also help lessen the demand for precious environmental resources such as land, water, and energy.
- Livestock production creates more greenhouse gases than the entire transportation sector – all the cars, trucks, planes, and trains in the world.
- Livestock production uses 75% of the earth’s agricultural land.
- Producing ONE quarter-pound beef burger uses 425 gallons of water – enough water to fill ten bathtubs.
- Producing ONE quarter-pound beef burger uses up enough energy to power an iPhone for six months.
- Skipping one serving of beef every Monday for a year saves the equivalent emissions to driving 348 miles in a car.
Research suggests that people are more open to trying healthy behaviors at the start of the week. Monday offers an opportunity to “reset” and get back on track after any lapses over the weekend. Studies show people who get back on track at the beginning of the week can maintain progress over time. Starting each week, practicing Meatless Monday can lead people to eat more fruits, vegetables, and plant-based meals throughout the rest of the week.
NYC Goes Meatless on Monday too!
In 2019, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announced that Meatless Monday would be extended to all New York City public schools beginning in the 2019-2020 school year. This program provides over 1 million students with healthy, all-vegetarian breakfast and lunch menus every Monday.
In February 2021, the City of New York announced a plan, aptly named Food Forward NYC. It is a comprehensive framework designed to bring a racially and economically equitable, sustainable, and healthy food system to all New Yorkers.
Several other city agencies have adopted Meatless Monday, including NYC Health + Hospitals, the largest public healthcare system in the country, as well as the New York City Department of Homeless Services and the New York City Department of Correction.
We at ABEST are advocates of sustainability and have been serving New York State residents with 100% renewable electricity since 2012. Our focus has been to educate and help New Yorkers do their part by offering a renewable option to reduce their carbon footprint.
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