How many Americans eat meat on a daily basis? On average, Americans consume 8 oz of meat per day, 45% more than the USDA recommend. If you give up eating meat at least one day out of the week, you can reduce your risk of chronic and preventable cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. It also helps the environment precious resources like fresh water.
Meatless Monday goes as far back during President Wilson, Truman, and Roosevelt times in the White house. They organized the nation during both world wars to voluntary have meatless days during wartime. Now in the 20th century, we are revitalizing our nation to adapt this past American tradition. The Meatless Monday became active and launched in 2003. The nonprofit organization and campaign, in association with John’s Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health provides information and recipes to start each week with healthy environmentally friendly meat-free alternatives. The goal is to help reduce meat consumption by 15% in order to improve your personal health and the health of the planet.
The Meatless Monday movement have gone global. The program is active now in over 23 countries worldwide. The small Caribbean island of Jamaica also plays an active role. Gent, Belgium became the first european country to join the movement in 2009. Paul McCartney introduced meat free in the UK soon after. The campaign have expanded into an international movement. The campaign’s simple message allows each nation to bring its own culture, custom, and cuisine to the table. This makes for exciting recipes to sample cooking from around the world. As a vegetarian, I am very excited about this movement and its explosion all over the world.
Why Mondays you might ask? Well Monday is the January of the week. Its a perfect day when people begin a new exercise workout, start a new diet and begin a new year or new day resolution. This is a call to action and a chance to live a longer healthier life. Its a chance to also cut your weekly food budget and health care spending. Also, the opportunity to relieve you from medication being precribed by your doctor from medical ailments.
Take the pledge and join the movement. Tell your family, friends, coworkers and your community leaders how they can improve the health of the people, and the planet by cutting meat out one Monday at a time. Spread the word. Tools are provided on the website to start your own Meatless Monday campaign. Take an active role in your health and the health of your family. Schools, Universities, Hospitals like NY Mount Sinai, association such as AARP, Super Kids Nutrition, The Water Planet Challenge, City Eats, and several NY restaurants have changed their menu to participate in the Meatless Monday campaign and joined the movement. Celebrities such as Paul Simon, Oprah, Russell Simmons, ABC Robin Roberts, to name a few are also participants of this worldwide movement.
Improve your diet. Eating more beans and peas result in a higher intake of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron, and magnesium with lower intake of saturated fat and total fat. Be a part of Meatless Monday’s movement and help improve your health. If you don’t do it, who will? We are each responsible for our own destiny. Health begins with you.