Meatless Monday is an international movement being adopted by college campuses around the nation. Maybe you have noticed the logo on different food options and posters around the dining hall or saw that Meatless Monday was part of Georgetown’s Water Week, but you still don’t know what the movement is all about? A-okay, Spoon has got your back.

A Little History

The idea of forgoing eating meat on Mondays is not a novel one. The movement has recently made a resurgence but originally started during World War I when the government encouraged Americans to not eat meat on Mondays and wheat on Wednesdays to conserve during times when food was sparse. Check out this retro poster, who knew this health fad could be so patriotic?

Courtesy of Brandeis Institutional Repository

Courtesy of Brandeis Institutional Repository

Good for the Planet

Wondering why the meatless movement is part of water week and how it is “good for the planet and good for you”? To produce only one pound of beef uses as much water as 60 showers! Producing that steak also takes as much grain as 20 loaves of bread and as much gas as it takes to drive a car 32 miles. Yikes, and I just felt bad for the cow.

Good for You

Most Americans eat more meat than suggested each day, but taking one day a week to cut out meat from your meals balances overall consumption. Lowering your saturated fat and cholesterol intake one day of the week makes a difference over time. Going meatless can help reduce risk of heat attacks, colon cancer, type II diabetes, and can even help you live longer.

Game Plan

Going meatless for one day a week is easier than you think! Try…

  • the vegetarian/vegan bar in the dining hall.
  • adding beans, chickpeas or edamame to get your source of protein in a salad.
  • leaving out the meat from your Monday sandwich or wrap.
  • swapping tofu for meat at the wok station.  And if tofu isn’t your thing, edamame from the salad bar is an ideal swap too.
  • having an omelet for a meal–without the bacon.
  • becoming a vegan for a day if you are already a vegetarian!

Bonus: Meatless Mondays actually saves you cash! The cost of buying meat can really add up, so this new lifestyle has financial benefits as well as health ones.

Check out these Spoon approved Meatless Monday recipes: