Meatless Monday: Why Meatless?

30 Jun
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Many people may wonder why they should go meatless for one day a week.  People also think that vegetarianism has to be an all or nothing thing, but this is not true.  When it comes to health and the environment, every little bit counts.  Becoming unhealthy does not happen at once, it happens “just one more cookie” at a time.   Climate change came about in the same fashion: slowly and overtime.  Reversing these issues works in the same light.  Going meatless, even just for one day a week, has both health as well as environmental benefits. 

Environmental Benefits:

    1. Reduces your carbon footprint: About one-fifth of the human produced greenhouse gas emissions come from the meat industry.  The demand for inexpensive meats keeps growing, along with the damage to the environment.  Limiting meat consumption one day a week helps to slow this process. 
    2.  Minimizes water usage: Approximately 2,000 gallons of water go into a simple pound of beef, compared to a pound of tofu requiring around 200
    3. Helps reduce fossil fuel dependence:  It takes about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce one calorie of beef, compared to the 2.2 calories it takes to produce 1 calorie of plant-based proteins. 
    4. Reduces wildlife habitat destruction and endangered species: The meat industry holds responsibility for mass deforestation and cultivation of natural lands.  This ruins the animal’s natural habitat and forces the animals out causing long-term harm to wildlife.
    5. If you’re still not convinced: According to environmental defense, if everyone in America skipped one meal of meat per week, the carbon dioxide savings would be equivalent to taking more than half a million cars off the roads in the country. 

Health Benefits:

  1. Limits your risk of cancer: Through hundreds of studies it has been found that red and processed meat consumption are associate with colon cancer, and that diets high in fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of cancer.
  2. Reduces your risk of heart disease: A study at Harvard University suggests that replacing saturated fat-rich foods (meat and full fat dairy) with foods that are rich in polyunsaturated fat (vegetable oils, nuts and seeds) reduces the risk of heart disease by 19%. 
  3. Aids in fighting diabetes: Research has shown that higher consumption of red and processed meat increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  4. Curbs Obesity: People on low-meat or vegetarian diets have significantly lower BMIs than people with a diet full of meat.
  5. If you really still aren’t sure: Eating less meat can help you live longer! Red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in totally mortality, cancer mortality, and cardiovascular disease mortality. 

    You have all of this information on why eating less meat is so beneficial, so now what? Now you can join Bird’s Nest in supporting the #MeatlessMondays campaign! Get started today or continue on your journey by trying out the recipe below.

    Quinoa Tabbouleh with Chickpeas

    Ingredients:  chickpeas

    1 cup cooked quinoa

    1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

    1/2 pound Persian cucumbers or 2 hothouse cucumbers (if using hothouse, seed the cucumbers first), sliced

    2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

    1 cup finely chopped green onion, white and green parts

    1 cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves

    1 cup chopped mint leaves

    1/3 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)

    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

    kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


      1. Place the cooked quinoa in a large bowl.
      2. Add the chickpeas, Persian cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, green onion, parsley and mint and toss.
      3. In a small bowl whisk the lemon juice with the olive oil and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour over the ingredients in the large bowl and mix well.
      4. Season with more kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
      5. Serve immediately or put in the fridge for flavors to meld.

     Zoë Naseef

    Sources: Meatless Monday, Down to earth, alternet, foodiecrush

    Last modified on Monday, 30 June 2014 13:27

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