Meatless Monday (podcast)Mar 30th, 2012 | By Cecilia | Category: Featured Articles, podcast, the show
Mondays are like the New Year’s Day of each week. It’s when we resolve to do better and to be better at…well…whatever.
And the folks with the Monday Campaigns know this and use Mondays as a launch pad for delivering health messages, including Meatless Mondays, where people are encouraged to be part-time vegetarians for their health and the health of the planet.
Peggy Neu is president of the Monday Campaigns, and I met her at last year’s inaugural SXSW Eco Conference. She said the concept of Meatless Monday is nothing new. During WWI and WWII the US Food Administration urged Americans to reduce consumption of key staples including meat, wheat, sugar and fat, so that more food could be sent to our soldiers abroad and our allies.
Sid Lerner, founder of the Monday Campaigns, launched the non-profit Meatless Monday initiative in 2003 with the help of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, to help educate the public about preventable diseases.
And while “human health comes first”, environmental health cannot be ignored. Factory farmed livestock is energy intensive. Most of the animals are fed corn and soy, which require a vast amount of land to produce. In addition, the estimate is that it takes 2,000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef.
The movement has become viral with individuals, restaurants, grocery stores and large food service companies, taking up the banner of a meat free Monday in exchange for meals consisting of fresh vegetables, grains, dairy and fruits, and–according to Peggy Neu–a brighter future.