Meatless Monday – it’s not a crusade to covert you to vegetarianism, however there are environmental and health benefits to giving up your carnivorous cravings once a week. Raising livestock utilizes one-third of the world’s fresh water supply and is one of the largest contributors to soil degradation. Producing livestock also accounts for a great deal of runoff and pollution, including between 7-18% of global methane emissions from human-related activities. A great deal of livestock is also raised in controlled animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, and are managed in a way that is often unethical and unsuitable for the workers and animals involved. If you don’t believe me then check out Food Inc. for a more graphic representation.
If I can’t appeal to your environmental ethos, I’m sure I can make an argument for your waist line. Animal proteins are complete and will provide you will all the necessary nutrients, but they also tend to be high in fat. For example, a 6 ounces steak contains 12 grams of saturated fat and 268 grams of cholesterol. Consuming high-fat animal proteins on a regular basis may lead to increased weight gain as well as increased risk of atherosclerosis, or heart disease. If you’ve taken Nutrition, Health and Society you know that meat should take up less than a quarter of your plate and its a good idea to obtain protein through complementary foods. When you combine foods such as grains and legumes, your body more readily absorbs the nutrients you need.
You won’t catch me waxing poetic about the culinary significance of tofu and I happen to think that products such as seitan are border-line satanic, but I do believe that it is highly possible to develop dishes sans meat that are actually appetizing. Here are some great ways to delete meat from your Monday menu:
Check out the Bon Appètit version here
Find the recipe here
Roasted Red Pepper & Arugula Pizza
Learn how to make dough here
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Learn how to make your own hand-crafted gnocchi here
More good stuff here: