Meatless Monday: Will You Go Meatless For A Day?

Here we go again: conflict in the Middle East and the discussion incessant bitching about gas prices. I can hardly wait until the summer travel season. With a barrel of oil topping $100 for the first time since 2008 (my muscles start to twitch as I remember this era of my finance career), it’s a great time to talk about why our industrial meat system burns my bacon. I still wonder out loud why the average person hasn’t made the broad connection between meat consumption, the environment and the world’s resources.

Mark Bittman got it right three years ago in his New York Times article Rethinking the Meat Guzzler:

Growing meat (it’s hard to use the word “raising” when applied to animals in factory farms) uses so many resources that it’s a challenge to enumerate them all. But consider: an estimated 30 percent of the earth’s ice-free land is directly or indirectly involved in livestock production, according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, which also estimates that livestock production generates nearly a fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases — more than transportation.

As 925 million people in the world suffer from malnutrition he points out the following:

…about two to five times more grain is required to produce the same amount of calories through livestock as through direct grain consumption, according to Rosamond Naylor, an associate professor of economics at Stanford University.

This brings me to my question: will you go meat free for a day?

There are a swath of Meatless Monday participants around the country including Baltimore Public Schools, Sodexho, and University of California Davis. The effort, started in 2003, is in large part directed at public health (heart disease and high cholesterol), but I would argue that we should take a moment to examine our eating patterns.

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New Year’s Food Resolutions for the Beginner and the Brave


Once the holiday season is over and we’ve finished indulging in turkey, ham and stacks of gifts, there are slightly less exciting things to look forward to: resolutions. We are all forced to make them, and of course we’ll eventually break them before January is out. But in the spirit of all things new again, here are some New Year’s resolutions for both the beginner and brave food lovers.

Tell us how you will resolve to make 2011 a better food year.

New Year’s Food Resolutions: The Beginner

By Brit

Try Something New
Skip the #34 Kung Pao Chicken and choose something new, something that scares you, something that’s blue.

Meatless Monday
It’s no secret that we’re a fan of Sid Lerner, the pioneer of Meatless Monday. For one day a week you can avoid meat and eat a little healthier, save a little cash and reduce your carbon footprint.

Cook More
I love eating out as much as the next person, but there’s nothing more satisfying than cooking and enjoying your own meal. 

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