It’s Easy Eating Green on Meatless Mondays

What do beer, potato chips, and peanut butter and jelly all have in common?  They’re all perfectly ordinary–and all vegetarian.  Sure, they aren’t exactly health foods, but they’re comfortingly familiar.  It can be easy and painless to add some vegetarian meals to your usual rotation–and save a bundle while doing it.  One meat-free meal a week can also have a major impact on the environment.  Eating vegetarian just one day can save eighteen thousand gallons of water–that’s what it takes to produce one pound of raw beef!


Good news!  Potato chips are vegetarian.

The average American eats two-hundred pounds of meat each year.  A family of four spends about $2,300 annually on meat ($192 a month), and that number is climbing. [1]  Families can afford to eat more meat than previous generations, but that luxury takes a toll on the planet.  Many Americans are jumping into the green movement: recycling more, driving less.  Eating lower on the food chain is another simple thing you can do to help out Mother Earth.  If everyone cut down their animal protein intake by ten percent, we could feed the all the hungry people of the world with the grain saved. [2] 

Meatless Monday (www.meatlessmonday.com) is an organization dedicated to reducing America’s four deadliest diseases: heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.  By encouraging families to go meatless every Monday, they hope Americans will be eating 15% less saturated fat by 2010.  Inspired by this program, Tanisha Renee and her family go meatless one day each week.  In her associatedcontent.com article, she calculates that 60% of her grocery bill goes to meat, so every day her family eats vegetarian, they save $11.  That’s $44 month! 

So the good news for you carnivores is you don’t need to go whole-hog with this vegetarian thing (ha ha).  Eating meatless just one day a week can still help save the planet–and keep a few of those hard-earned dollars in your pocket book.  What do you think?  Could Meatless Mondays work for you?


 [1] According to the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Bureau of Labor Statistics.

[2] www.earthsave.org

Comments

  1. Before I went mostly vegetarian I thought it would be impossible to not eat meat, i thought i would just be eating a ton of veggies. My world has totally opened up to new food that I never tried before. I love the new food I am opened up too and the cost if actually great!

    At the moment we have only a few days with meat to make my husband happy!

  2. I’m guessing you’re not Catholic – during Lent, we have meatless Fridays. (Okay, we also have fish frys. Which are not green. Or healthy. But they are popular fundraisers and community events, so I will not argue with the fish fry.)

    Anyhow, my family has cut down on the amount of meat we eat dramatically. In addition to more meatless meals, we also try to think of meat as a minor component of the meal. So it is pasta with veggies and two small turkey meatballs, not a big piece of chicken with a tiny serving of veggies on the side.

    We’re skinnier, healthier, wealthier and yes, far greener!

  3. Abby, Actually I did grow up Catholic! We are full-time vegetarians in my household, but I like the idea of “Meatless Mondays” (or Fridays!) because it’s something most people can manage. I, personally, don’t see giving up meat as a sacrifice, but I know it would feel like that for many people.

  4. Thanks so much for mentioning the Meatless Monday site! You made some great points in your article. Cutting meat once a week saves your family money, helps your health, and greatly reduces your carbon footprint.

    Reducing your meat intake can also be a catalyst in introducing your family to new, healthier options. For healthier snacks for your kids try fresh fruit, carrot sticks, or homemade trail mix. You can also introduce them to foods they may not have seen before, like soy nuts or hummus. Fresh snacks are often cheaper than processed alternatives and provide necessary nutrients.

    Think of Monday as your chance to start the week off on a healthy note. For more information on how to select and prepare a variety of meatless options see the “Recipes & Cooking” section of http://www.MeatlessMonday.com. You can also learn more about how to make each Monday healthy by visiting HealthyMonday.org

  5. Alice Sutton says:

    I think this is a great idea. I’m a nutrition teacher, and I hope my students will try this.

  6. Brad Glowacki says:

    It will help you save a little money, healthy, and helpful to the entire planet. Why wouldn’t you? Honestly. The only thing that is keeping this from becoming a monumental movement is you.

  7. Dixie Perano says:

    This is a wonderful idea and I am glad my nutrition teacher mentioned this to the class. It should be interesting to see how many people actually try this. It just depend on the individual.

  8. Monique Jones says:

    WOW! I never knew that missing one day of meat can have such an impact on myself as well as the enivornment. I am up for the challenge

  9. Mary Roth says:

    This is a great idea! I have my entire family trying this today which is a Monday. We are not having any meat of any kind today. I am ready to take the challenge and so is my family. I’m glad my nutrition teacher showed us this web site.

  10. Monica Jones says:

    I believe that this is so true. I’ve been trying to eat more healthier every since I took a weight lifting and nutrition class. I ‘ve been trying to be a vegetarian (well, a semi-vegetarian). I’ve stopped eating beef, but I ‘m having a little trouble with not eating pork, but I do not eat near as much pork as I used to. I’ve noticed a big change in my groceryl as well. I thought that I would spend more money since I’m trying to eat more healthier, but I’m apalled every time I go grocery shopping. I try to have some idea of how much money I’m going to spend before I walk in a store. I’m wrong every time. I always end up spending less money than I had calculated. I feel that everyone should try going meatless one day a week, or more days if they can. Even though I’m having a hard time giving up pork, I still don’t eat as much meat. You’ll be healthier and as stated above, you’ll keep a little more extra money in your pocket.

  11. Monica Jones says:

    I believe that this is so true. I’ve been trying to eat more healthier every since I took a weight lifting and nutrition class. I ‘ve been trying to be a vegetarian (well, a semi-vegetarian). I’ve stopped eating beef, but I ‘m having a little trouble with not eating pork, but I do not eat near as much pork as I used to. I’ve noticed a big change in my grocery billl as well. I thought that I would spend more money since I’m trying to eat more healthier, but I’m apalled every time I go grocery shopping. I try to have some idea of how much money I’m going to spend before I walk in a store. I’m wrong every time. I always end up spending less money than I had calculated. I feel that everyone should try going meatless one day a week, or more days if they can. Even though I’m having a hard time giving up pork, I still don’t eat as much meat. You’ll be healthier and as stated above, you’ll keep a little more extra money in your pocket.

  12. Ashley Herron says:

    This is a wonderful campaign hopefully it gains national attention, maybe some commercials would help. Schools would also be a great place to start!

  13. Whitney Dixon says:

    This is a very interesting organization. I have never heard of meatless Mondays before until now. However, I could see myself participating in this campaign. I think that this should be enforced by the government because it will help save money. I didn’t know that it takes 18 thousand gallons of water to produce one pound of beef.

  14. I’ve always said that i don’t understand how people become vegetarians because i love meat too much to even think about it. Realizing the dangers that meat can cause just by eating it makes you think about it. I never thought that i would be able to cutt meat out even a little bit but now is seems that i could definetly do this every week!

  15. This is an extremely good idea, with many health benefits! I recently heard about Meatless Monday and it’s history which dates back to World War I. It’s possible to do this nationwide and it starts with one person.

  16. Elizabeth S says:

    “The average American eats two-hundred pounds of meat each year.”

    Wow. I am such a cow, pun intended. I think Meatless Mondays is an extremely beneficial concept and movement and I hope that it gets a lot of attention and followers. Count me in!

  17. Ashley W. says:

    I’ve been a vegetarian for about 6 years and this is a great way to get people introduced to the idea! It’s so much easier to do than people realize and it really does have an enormous effect on health and the environment!

  18. I always thought going vegetarian would be more expensive and come to find out it really isn’t. Meat is so heavy on the stomach and for years I thought that heavy feeling equated to being “full” but I now know why. It’s unbelievable how much water is used to produce meat and today we have kids in Africa dying from a lack of clean water. GO MEATLESS MONDAYS!

  19. M.E.McDermott says:

    I think that this article brings about many good pointers. As with the second responder I too am Catholic, so during lent we always have adopted meatless Fridays, and recently with the declining economy we have decided to intigrate this into our weekly meals. By going meatless we have been able to enhance the variety of our diets through new recepies and cooking techniques! I think that in order to encourage people to go meatless we need to be positive and focus on the positive outcomes of going meatless rather than all of the negatives of meat.

  20. KLWilliams says:

    I think this a very interesting campaign. I usually do not eat meat as often as normal Americans. I was suprised to hear that a normal average of meat per day for Americans is 8 oz!! I couldn’t believe that! Its also a really good point that you can improve your health by eating less meat, but can also improve your checkbook! Meat is expensive!

  21. VCABARNES says:

    I totally agree with KLWILLIAMS! I too am not a big meat eater and I feel that if there is a way to improve the environment and mother nature then why not? Think about all the money that we spend to buy meat and then think about how that money could be used to help people who don’t have fresh water to drink. If everyone were too partake in this meatless Monday, we would not only help the environment but we would have extra spending money too!!

  22. Elizabeth R. says:

    I think that this is an interesting article and a great campaign. As one of those Americans who enjoys meat in my meals, I think that the goal of giving up meat for one day of the week is not a difficult task. Not only is it healthy for my body, but also for my wallet. It is amazing to see how much money is spent on meat. I have been tracking my spending for the last month and after reading this article I decided to take a look at all my receipts. Sure enough, I was shocked to see how much money I spent on food, especially meat. I think this will be an easy and healthful improvement to my lifestyle.

  23. RI Beckett says:

    I really enjoyed this article. I never knew how much I could impact the environment and alleviate world hunger by simply not eating meat. What really shocked me was the fact that if I don’t eat meat for a day I am saving 18 thousand gallons of water a day. If I got ten people to do this, we could possibly be able to have enough water to give to those that don’t have access to clean water. I think that this might be better for my nutritient intake as well.

  24. LuisaA says:

    The article is really informative. My famile eats meat a lot. No that I know how much going meat less once a week helps my body and they planet, I will be part of “meat less mondays.”

  25. CarolineB says:

    I find this very interesting! I am all about being environmentally friendly and this is another great way to reduce the carbon footprint that we are leaving behind. This is also a great motivator since the economy is not doing so well, many people would consider this option more of a financially smart decision. Overall, I think these statistics have helped convince me that going meatless some of the time is beneficial!

  26. Hilary P. says:

    I never knew that cutting down on our meat intake would save that much water! That is truly shocking! We all need to be more cautious of our effects on the environment and I believe that going meatless on Mondays is a great add on to our eco friendly activities. I’m for sure going to give it a shot!

  27. Heather A says:

    This is a good idea, and these people claim to save money eating less meat, but I would like to see the results of how much you have to spend on other foods. It’s interesting.

  28. Michelle C. says:

    “Going green” is a concept a think about often. In my family,we consume red meat at least once a day. I don’t neccesarily know that Meatless Monday would cut back on money but I do believe that it would be highly beneficial to my family’s health. I do agree that this sounds like a good idea in trying to save our environment and it is a good step toward getting everyone active in lowering obesity rates in the U.S.

  29. Jessica P. says:

    I found this article thought provoking. I truly didn’t know that we, as Americans, spend that much money on animal products.I think going meatless for one day a week would definitely not be that hard. Especially since I do not eat that much meat on most occassions. This is something that I will probably try and hopefully I can convince my family to join me.

  30. Lindsey says:

    I found this very interesting, and a very good idea!

  31. Alaina S. says:

    I am Catholic as well, so like my other fellows of the same denomination, I am used to going a whole day without eating meat. It really isn’t that hard to do, and I am amazed at how big an impact it can have on our environment. My family and I are looking forward to doing our part and participating!

  32. jnmcmahan says:

    i am a meat eater. i never realized how much i spend on meat. i eat well over the 8oz so i think i need to make a change in my diet. it would be a challenge for me to go meatless but if it saves money then i guess i could at least try it.

  33. Ashley M says:

    This was very informative. My family eats alot of meat and dad and I consider ourselfs to be “meat and potatoes” people. I tend to eat alot of chicken, moreso than red meat and to go without this source of protein would be quite difficult for me. I do think, however, that I could try and get rid of red meats from diet quite easily.

  34. Chelsea M says:

    The idea of meatless mondays is a great way to encourage people to eat less meat. I am excited to start this on monday.

  35. Rachel A says:

    I think this is an interesting idea however I am not completely sold on it. If the meat production industry is so inefficient should we not also be focusing on enacting laws to make it healthier and efficient, then we wouldn’t have the extra waste, or at least use it in other ways. Also, being a fan of the Great Global Warming Swindle, I have a hard time believing that just cutting out one day of meat can really achieve what Meatless Monday claims it can. I’m all for lowering heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes and I can understand why eliminating meat one day a week can help that but that is just being healthier in general. One day less of meat is not going to completely change one’s diet. It is a combination of different things.

  36. Julie S. says:

    Going Meatless on Monday would surely be easy to implement. I probably go meatless on several days with out realizing it because there are so many other options to incorporate protein into the diet, other than by meat. I’m a little confused how going meatless will save world hunger and such, if it was such a simple fix, surely we would have already used this knowledge to help our economy and those around us. So although I think the statistics in this are over simplified, I believe that going meatless will cut down alot of the health risks mentioned, red meats especially!

  37. Marquise D says:

    Going Meatless on Monday is a great idea and I think it can be easily implemented one day out of the week. I can not wait to see what foods and recipes my professor will be introducing to us this coming Monday during lab.

  38. kathy Litzenberger says:

    Going Meatless on Monday is a great idea and I think it can be easily done one day out of the week.But Friday is a much better day of the week for my family…

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