Would you go meat free for Monday?
It’s Monday, so I can tell you what Richard Branson is having for dinner. Well probably not exactly, but one thing is for sure, it won’t be meat. Why? Because it’s Meat Free Monday and he’s one of the faces of the iniative being run by Do Something! and the Frys Family Foundation, that encourages everyone to spend at least one day of the week not eating meat.
Wait – please keep reading. This is not a rant against eating meat. Meat is good and yummy but as Rosemary Stanton tells The Punch, the planet would be better off if we all just cut back how much of it we are eating, by just one day.
“This is not a call for extremism; it’s all about balance and eating. Also, it’s a call to do the right thing by our environment. We waste so much water and grain simply creating food for the cattle and sheep that we eat, so it’s also a good decision for the planet, too,” she says.
Here’s why. According to Stanton, Australians do not eat nearly enough plant foods. Going meatless is an easy way to expose yourself to a wider variety of vegetables, herbs and legumes. Not only that, it will also do wonders for your cholesterol and if you’re a man, lower your risk of bowel cancer.
“There is no evidence to suggest that eating meat gives you cancer. But research conducted by the World Cancer research Fund showed that cutting back on how much meat you eat lowers the risk of bowel cancer,” Dr Stanton says.
Australian dietary guidelines recommend people eat between 65-100g meat, 3 to 4 days per week. But Stanton says most Australians, particularly men, eat almost double that.
But here’s the good news. Dr Stanton says that by cutting back meat intake even once a week, you kind of balance things out.
Going meat free on Monday will also give back to the planet. “Plant productions have a much lower carbon footprint than meat. Sheep and cattle are one of the biggest producers of methane, which is detrimental to the environment,” she says.
And it’s also one way of fighting the current and annoying restaurant trend of charging extra for vegetables.
“You can pay up for $12 or so for a side serving of vegetable when you are eating out now and it encourages people to eat the wrong things. An ideal meal consists of half the plate of vegetables, one quarter grains and another quarter meat.”
But that’s the plate for every other day. Today is Monday so why don’t you ditch the meat and replace it with something delicious that is full of veggies. And if you’re lacking inspiration, Taste.com.au has some top ideas.
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