Go Green to Save Green: go Meatless on Monday
Today’s post is about a food movement that has been getting a lot of buzz the past few years: Meatless Monday.
Somehow, over the course of generations, animal products became the central figure of serving plates. The big ole hunk of meat surrounded by mashed potatoes and peas. The way kings and queens of old ate. But through education from places like the USDA’s Choose My Plate, my kids’ generation and future generations are being taught the right way to eat with meat or protein as one small portion of their plate.
Meatless Monday can actually be traced back to World War I when rationing was needed. (They also had Wheatless Wednesdays, too). The practice was brought back during World War II. Then, somewhere along the line,the idea lost favor with the masses. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future helped revive the idea of Meatless Mondays in 2003 and there’s even a very popular website for the movement.
Why will going meatless one day a week save you money and the earth?
- More than 1.7 billion animals are used in livestock production worldwide and occupy more than one-fourth of the Earth’s land.
- Production of animal feed consumes about one-third of total arable land.
- The livestock sector, including feed production and transport, is responsible for about 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
- Some experts estimate that it takes 2-5 times the water needed to raise commercial meat sources versus growing vegetables.
- It takes between 1,800 and 2,500 gallons of water to produce a one pound of beef. Soy tofu requires 220 gallons of water per pound.
- The livestock sector, including feed production and transport, is responsible for about 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.*
- “Dead Animal” is usually one of the most expensive parts of the traditional meal.
- I won’t even go into the health issues associated with disproportionate meat consumption, but let’s just say cutting back on meat could save you a lot in future doctor’s visits!
I am by no means saying everyone should become a vegetarian. Good golly, I consider bacon a gift from the culinary gods so I could never go vegetarian! But we have been having Meatless Mondays for about four months now. Instead of big hunks of meat, I serve an extra vegetable. I have noticed a savings on our grocery bills!
Be sure to check out Green Bay Consumer every day this month for more tips, tricks and resources to help you save the earth and save your pocketbook.