Our friends at Meatless Monday are at it again…getting some fantastic coverage in the news, that is. The movement is spreading throughout the country and even Oprah, Michael Pollan and Chef Kathy Freston are enthusiastically showing their support for Meatless Monday.
Last week Dr. Jay Adlersberg with ABC local news affiliate WABC New York aired a segment about the Meatless Monday Program, and Chairman Sid Lerner and President Peggy Neu were interviewed for the story which highlighted the expanded reach of the movement. The feature pointed out how easy it is to join and encouraged viewers to use this small change of cutting out meat one day a week to make a big difference in their health.
The segment covered the vast reach of the Meatless Monday movement to school systems, hospitals, cities, food service corporations and major restaurants and institutions. Critically acclaimed chefs including Mario Batali and restaurateur John Fraser, of Dovetail, are also celebrating new Meatless Monday menus with featured options of plant-based foods. This is exciting news and a real health benefit to all because how and what we eat affects our health. People are signing up, according to Lerner, “To cut down fat and cholesterol in the diet. We're just eating too much meat.”
As we've pointed out in the past, meat, especially when industrially produced, is hard on the environment and destructive to communities:
- Meat production can take enormous amounts of water;
- Water pollution from animal waste is a huge problem;
- Antibiotic use seems to be rampant in industrial meat production; and
- Since industrially produced animals are unable to graze, factory farms require tremendous quantities of feed produced by industrial crop farms using energy-intensive processes.
These are only some of the problems associated with eating large amounts of meat, especially when it is produced in factories and presented to consumers at low costs. The low price does not factor in the negative impacts that eating a lot of meat can have on your health and the health of the environment. Furthermore, reducing meat consumption supports a more sustainable food system that includes grass-fed and humanely raised animals, labor justice and environmentally friendly production, processing and consumption practices.
Cutting meat from your diet for just one day a week reduces your environmental impact by 15 percent. And if you're eating sustainably raised meat you know just how good a healthier body and a healthy environment can taste.