Ready to give up meat one day a week? In collaboration with Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health, nonprofit Meatless Monday launched The Monday Campaigns, which encourages people to skip meat on Mondays to reduce their risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. The nonprofit believes it also can help reduce people’s carbon footprint and save resources, such as fresh water and fossil fuel. At the same time, they are recommending grass-fed, hormone-free, locally-raised options whenever possible.
To support this movement, Next-Gen Green will be posting a Meatless Monday Meal recipe every Monday at noon. Look for one today that will be packed with nutrients and also super yummy!
Health Benefits to Meatless Mondays
Limit Cancer Risk: Studies suggest that diets high in fruits and vegetables may reduce cancer risk. Both red and processed meat consumption are associated with colon cancer.
Reduce Heart Disease: Recent data from a Harvard University study found that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (for example, meat and full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (for example, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%
Fight Diabetes: Research suggests that higher consumption of red and processed meat increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Curb Obesity: People on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body weights and body mass indices. A recent study from Imperial College London also found that reducing overall meat consumption can prevent long-term weight gain.
Live Longer: Red and processed meat consumption is associated with modest increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality.
Improve your diet: Consuming beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.
Environmental Benefits to Meatless Mondays
Reduce your carbon footprint: The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide, which is more than transportation.
Minimize water usage: The water needs of livestock are far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Soy tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.
Help reduce fossil fuel dependence: On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein.