It’s not often I introduce food challenges. An individual’s diet choices are personal, and I find that people get very protective of what they eat and what allowances or restrictions they incorporate. But I am going to step out here and dip my toe in for the month of March.
Meatless Mondays is a recent global campaign aimed at lowering our overall meat consumption to support health, nutrition, the environment, and animal welfare. The movement has a history stretching back to World War I with Herbert Hoover, and it was originally Tuesdays, not Mondays. Americans were asked to cut back on meat, fat, sugar, and wheat and to participate in Meatless Tuesdays and Wheatless Wednesdays in an effort to care for struggling Allies and nourish U.S. soldiers overseas.
Meatless Tuesdays have recently been revived and replaced by Meatless Mondays, an effort founded by advertising executive Sid Lerner and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Monday is the day people are most likely to start new diets or give up bad habits, making it an ideal choice for a health campaign (plus Meatless Monday is a nice use of alliteration.) (Avey, 2013)
The goal of Meatless Monday is to limit the amount of meat you eat per week. Studies have been done linking excessive red or processed meat consumption to chronic conditions like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Removing meat from your meals one day a week will hopefully encourage you to choose alternative foods that are good for your health. Plant-based high protein foods include grains, vegetables, beans or nuts and are typically both fiber-rich and nutritional. Not only that, with the price of beef these days, excluding meat from your diet at least one day a week may also save you a few dollars! (Gorse, 2022)
Research has also shown that eating less meat may be better for the environment. Meat production requires resources that lead to greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation, or simply put, air pollution. Plant-based foods require fewer resources resulting in a reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, by eating less beef, we can decrease the global demand. According to one recent study, if every person in the U.S. cut their meat consumption by 25 percent, it would reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 1 percent, which in layman’s terms would help protect the rain forest. (Oreskes, 2022)
So, the goal for Tycor’s Meatless Monday Challenge for March is pretty simple - no meat on the menu on Monday. You might find that this challenge will be more fun if you get your co-workers, family or friends involved. Share your favorite meatless recipe at your Monday Morning meeting or post it on the bulletin board in the break room. You may even want to organize a company-wide Meatless Monday Potluck for the month of March. However you make it happen, make it without meat!
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Avey, T. (2013, August 16). Discover the History of Meatless Mondays. Retrieved from www.pbs.org: https://www.pbs.org/food/the-history-kitchen/history-meatless-mondays/
Gorse, M. (2022, August 8). 6 Reasons to Try Meatless Monday. Retrieved from www.patientfirst.com: https://www.patientfirst.com/blog/meatless-monday
Oreskes, N. (2022, January 1). Eating Less Red Meat Is Something Individuals Can Do to Help the Climate Crisis. Retrieved from www.scientificamerican.com: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/eating-less-red-meat-is-something-individuals-can-do-to-help-the-climate-crisis/#:~:text=About%2040%20percent%20of%20greenhouse,are%20converted%20to%20grazing%20land.