Exciting News! I’ve just become a Meatless Monday Ambassador!
Meatless Monday is a global movement that asks people to give up meat for one day a week. By becoming an ambassador, I will work to encourage fellow meeting and event planners to think about meatless food options. Here’s why the movement is important to me:
Reducing our carbon footprint and practicing sustainable food practices is a cause that is near and dear to my heart.
Did you know that global livestock production creates more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks, planes, and trains in the world? By reducing our meat consumption, we are lowering the demand for it, which in turn means that farmers won’t need to produce as much, and those greenhouse gas levels will decrease.
Feeding livestock takes its toll on the environment in many ways. It takes 425 gallons of water to produce one ¼ lb. burger. To put that into perspective, think about your standard bathtub that can hold approximately 80-100 gallons of water. You would need to fill that thing up more than 4 times in order to produce a burger. That’s a lot of water!
As a society, by taking meat out of our diet one day a week, we can dramatically decrease greenhouse gases and excessive water usage.
My general view is that we can enjoy almost anything in moderation. You might savor the occasional steak dinner, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, eating too much red meat may lead to chronic and critical illness like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cancer. By substituting plant-based foods for meat, you can reduce those health risks. Our food should provide nutrients, quality social experiences and increase the quality of our lives, not reduce it.
Awareness for Vegans and Vegetarians
The Meatless Monday movement also promotes awareness for vegan and vegetarian dishes. I strongly believe in food inclusion – providing quality food for all dietary restrictions. According to 2014 Meat Atlas produced by Friends of the Earth and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, 375 million people worldwide are vegetarian (4% of U.S., 31% Indian, 10% European populations), and that number is growing.
By spreading awareness of how much meat individuals consume, not only are we conducting an environmental and health audit on our own lives, but we also start to understand those who choose to go meatless on a more permanent basis. Too many events involve meat-heavy meals with few or zero options for those who choose to eat vegetarian, whether for dietary or religious reasons. Meatless Monday will encourage meeting and event planners to explore new recipes in order to offer more options to their vegetarian and vegan guests.
Who Is Going Meatless?
There are a variety of individuals and organizations who have joined the movement. Restaurants, universities, cities, hospitals, and schools are all examples of groups who believe in Meatless Monday.
Earlier this year, the Department of Education in Brooklyn launched a pilot program in which 15 of its schools offered vegetarian breakfasts and lunches to its students. Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams, reports positive results from the initiative:
“I believe that Meatless Mondays is an extremely significant initiative that has the power to transform the health of thousands of our city’s students, as well as open the door to a powerful conversation that children can have with families on nutrition and wellness.”
I couldn’t agree more with Adams’ words and am looking forward to seeing further positive feedback and long-term reports as more schools and organizations begin to go vegetarian on Mondays.
How Can You Go Meatless?
As an individual, going meatless can be fairly easy. The first thing you can do is check out a list of some of the movement’s favorite vegetarian recipes. You can also follow the #meatlessmonday hashtag on Twitter for more tips and recipes to go vegetarian one day a week. You can also sign up to be an ambassador as well.
If you are a meeting or event planner, you have the opportunity to affect real change for your guests. Planning large-scale vegetarian meals will not only reduce our carbon footprint and provide healthy meatless meals for all guests but also spread awareness of how Meatless Monday can make real change in the world. If that seems a bit intimidating, don’t fret. I have plenty of ideas about how to create a meatless food experience for events. If you are interested in learning more about them, please contact. I would be thrilled to talk to you.