March 10, 2014

Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday is a movement that is gaining strength and followers. Its goal is to increase overall health and decrease incidents of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

The current movement was officially started in 2003 in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University as a public health campaign to address “the prevalence of preventable illnesses associated with excessive meat consumption.” However, Meatless Monday’s roots date back nearly 100 years.

During World War I, the U.S. Food Administration implemented “Meatless Mondays” and “Wheatless Wednesdays” to encourage Americans to help do their part and contribute as many resources as possible to the war effort. Newspapers printed menus and recipes, and the Food Administration launched a campaign to promote this new lifestyle. Millions of people joined the efforts; it turned out to be a successful effort. In fact, in 1929, a newspaper article noted that people were eating less and feeling better.

In the 1920’s the slogan was “Eat less wheat, meat, sugar, and fats to save for the Army and our Allies.” Now, however, it’s geared towards personal wellness. Mondays bring an end to the freedom of the past weekend, and a fresh beginning to a new week. It’s a day to set the tone for the upcoming week.  The thought is if you start the week off healthy, you’ll be more likely to keep it up throughout the week

Going meatless also has environmental benefits. The production and processing of meat consumes a lot of water and energy from fossil fuels, and it is estimated that the meat industry produces nearly one-fifth of the total man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Cutting back on meat just once a week could make significant savings to fossil fuel and water usage.

The Meatless Monday website is an excellent resource for more information about the movement. It lists hundreds of recipes organized by meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, bulk, dessert), and offers a free e-cookbook. It highlights dozens of celebrities that have pledged to go meatless on Monday, and links to more than 100 blogs with news, articles, recipes and tips.

Company Kitchen offers employees healthy alternatives every day of the week. From fresh salads and fruit to dairy and whole-grain snacks, Company Kitchen makes Meatless Mondays more manageable.