We started something in our household called “Meatless Monday.” We love to eat meat, really, we do. So why did we begin to reduce the amount of meat we consume? Well, according to the USDA, in the year 2000 meat consumption had reached a high of 195 lbs. per person per year. That was up 57 lbs. from what is was in the 1950’s and 60’s. They estimate that number has even increased another 30 lbs. per person in the last decade. There are a couple of reasons why this increase is bad thing. Meat used to be a delicacy and a treat. People could not afford to eat meat everyday and looked forward to a nice Sunday pot roast and savored it more because they knew it was not an everyday occurrence. The same is true with sugar. Having something sweet should be a special thing and should happen only once a week or so. We have made these “treats” something we consume everyday. A downside to this is, to be able to afford meat everyday, we buy the least expensive, chemically filled, antibiotic ridden, lowest quality of meat on the grocery store shelves and believe a label that reads “all natural.” Another reason is the extensive amount of resources it takes to grow and transform that little calf into the juicy steak on our plate. I listened to a cool podcast on NPR entitled, “A Nation of Meat Eaters: See How it All Adds Up” by Eliza Barclay, which talked about the harsh impact so much meat eating has on the environment. It is extremely interesting (to me at least) to hear about how the daily demands of livestock affect us in more ways than one.
So my challenge to you? Start viewing meat as a treat like our ancestors did and begin by joining the Meatless Monday challenge. The easiest way I have found is to put on a pot of your favorite soup but leave out the meat. Use beans and you will have a protein packed, super filling, healthy meal. Plus, by limiting the quantity of meat you consume, you can use the savings to purchase higher quality meat, which is better in both health AND taste. From one carnivore to another, I promise you that going one day per week without eating meat will not lead to hugging trees or throwing red paint on fur coats but it might lead to a less bloated, less tired and healthier you! Meatless Mondays…go for it 🙂