You may have seen this increasingly popular term on Facebook, Instagram, at restaurants, or perhaps even in the grocery store. What is Meatless Monday? Why has it started to trend online and in our communities? Is there purpose or is it another hippie weirdo diet craze? These are all completely valid questions that I'd like to further explore.
Meatless Monday's is a movement that requires a commitment of an individual to cut meat out of their meals on the first day of the week. In short, embracing a vegetarian diet every Monday.
Many grocery stores, bloggers, organic local restaurants, and families have made the commitment in recent years to be meatless every Monday. The big question is why!
It's no secret that we spend an absurd amount of money treating obesity, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Research has shown that a vegetarian diet greatly reduces risks of these diseases. As an individual or as a family, making Meatless Monday's apart of your routine is one small change in favor of better health for you and perhaps even your loved ones.
Aside from personal health, there's an environmental incentive as well. Producing meat requires a great deal of water usage, it produces large amounts CO2 emissions, and burns up an awful lot of fossil fuels. Plant based meals cut back on water waste, emissions, and burns up an awful lot of fossil fuels. Through Meatless Monday's, we can decrease our carbon footprints and lighten our impact on Mother Earth.
As a vegan, that spent ten years being a vegetarian, I've met and discussed eating choices with a lot of different people that all have very different perspectives on food. What I've learned over the years is that there's no one perfect diet best suited for every body. We all enjoy certain things, and we all avoid certain foods based on preference. Being completely meatless is a large commitment and lifestyle choice. It isn't for everyone. However, making the commitment to just once a week is less daunting. It can still be a challenge, but even this small shift overtime can produce dramatic and lasting impact on your personal health and on the health of the planet.
Having entirely plant based meals one day a week is also another fantastic incentive to get to your local farmers markets to pick up your Monday menu ingredient list!
Search #meatlessmonday on Facebook or Instagram and millions of ideas for what to put on the table this coming Monday will pop up. Get inspired and give it a shot!
To find responsible meat producers for the rest of the week, visit our online food guide.