Angel hair pasta with San Marzano tomatoes and extra-virgin olive oil (photo © Davio’s | Boston).
New year, new goals.
As advocates for sustainability, our first tip of the year focuses on Meatless Mondays.
If you’re not already in the fold, now’s the time to open the gate.
It’s not just about meat. Cheese and other dairy products, including yogurt and cottage cheese, contribute the same greenhouse gases that meat does.
Yes, you could eat fish; in fact, substituting more seafood for meat is another important resolution.
So if you really want to help Planet Earth, we propose to make Meatless Monday, Vegan Monday.
Almost every health, nutrition and sustainability expert advises: Eat a plant-based diet. Here, we’re only asking you to eat a plant-based Monday.
There are countless online recipe troves to tempt you. You can make—or take out, or order in:
When you look at recipes, you’ll discover that quite a few popular foods are on the Meatless Monday menu.
Here are 147 chains with vegan options.
It may seem like Meatless Monday is a 21st-century idea, but it originated during World War I.
Before formal rationing began, the U.S. Food Administration promoted reduced consumption of key staples to aid the war effort.
President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation calling for every Tuesday to be meatless and for one meatless meal to be observed every day, for a total of nine meatless meals each week [source].
“Food Will Win the War,” proclaimed government ads. “Meatless Monday” and “Wheatless Wednesday” were introduced to encourage Americans to do their part.
The effect was overwhelming. More than 13 million families signed a pledge to observe the national meatless and wheatless conservation days.
During World War II when President Franklin D. Roosevelt relaunched the campaign to help the war efforts. In the immediate post-war years, President Harry S. Truman continued the campaign to help feed war-ravaged Europe [source].
Most of us alive today hadn’t heard the term until 2003, when the concept was relaunched by a former advertising executive turned health advocate, Sid Lerner.
In association with Johns Hopkins University (The Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future), the concept was reintroduced as a public health awareness campaign.
The “new’ Meatless Monday was launched to addresses the prevalence of preventable illnesses associated with excessive meat consumption.
With the average American eating as much as 75 more pounds of meat each year than in generations past, the message of “one day a week, cut out meat” became a way for people to do something good healthwise. The health benefits of reducing meat consumption became regular stories for the nation’s news outlets.
With awareness of global warming and the causes of greenhouses gases, Meatless Monday has achieved even greater promotion as an environmental campaign, and has been growing worldwide.
The growing vegan movement has greatly helped the movement. Even for omnivores, cafeterias and restaurants offer meat-free options not only on Mondays, but everyday.
Make one of your New Year’s resolutions to join in.