Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Across the globe, it is catching on... in an effort to reduce our meat consumption by 15% and to improve the overall health of our planet, restaurants, schools, hospitals, and homes are going "meatless" each Monday in the "Meatless Mondays" campaign.

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization the meat industry generates nearly one fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that lead to climate change. Geophysicists at the Bard Center and the University of Chicago estimate that curbing meat consumption by 20% (which could be achieved through Meatless Mondays) would lower greenhouse gas emissions as dramatically as every American switching to an ultra-efficient hybrid vehicle.

The U.N. also found that current meat production methods cause nearly half of all stream and river pollution. Meat also requires a great deal of fresh water to manufacture. The production of a pound of beef takes approximately 2,500 gallons of water, compared to a pound of soy, which requires only 220 gallons.  By switching to soy on Mondays each individual could save about 890 gallons of water a week.

As of 2006, forty calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of U.S. feed lot beef (manufacture, transport and storage included). By comparison, a calorie of plant-based protein only requires 2.2 calories of fossil fuel. If the population of the United States went meatless every Monday for a year, 12 billion gallons of gasoline would be saved.

Last night, we went to one of our favorite local spots, Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens, who has adopted the Meatless Monday campaign into their menu.  Even on non-Mondays, their philosophy goes alongside the Slow Food Movement's, in that they only serve local, seasonal, and organically grown produce, 100% naturally raised meats, artisanal cheeses, and are 100% high fructose corn syrup-free.  
Take a look in your area and see what chefs are thinking globally.  Also, Meatless Mondays are a great tradition to bring into your own home.  

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