Beginning during World War I, the U.S. food Administration urged families to reduce consumption of key staples to aid the war effort. "Meatless Monday" was introduced to encourage Americans to do their part. "Americans began to look seriously into the question of what and how much they were eating. Lots of people discovered for the first time that they could eat less and feel no worse--frequently for the better".
-1929 Saturday Evening Post
What are the benefits of eliminating meat just one day a week?
- Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: The meat industry generates 1/5 of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change worldwide.
- Minimize Water Usage: An estimated 2,000 gallons of water go into 1 lb. of beef, far more than vegetables or grains.
- Help Reduce Fossil Fuel Dependence: 40 calories fossil fuel energy equals 1 calorie of feedlot beef versus the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy that equals 1 calorie of plant-based protein.
- Reduce Heart Disease: Replacing saturated fat-rich foods with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%.
- Curb Obesity: People on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower body weights and body mass indices.
The U.S. Meatless Monday campaign was launched in 2003 in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health -- and now, the "cut out meat one day a week" program is active in 23 countries and growing! By persuading people to stick to an all-vegetarian diet one day a week, the campaign hopes to reduce the country's intake of animal protein by 15 percent to increase their health and decrease our environmental impact. For more information about the movement, what you can do to help and yummy meatless recipes, visit here.
(Thanks to Duo Restaurant for the above info.)