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Los Angeles Votes for Meatless Mondays

November 12, 2012

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Encouraging residents to swap sirloin for salad, the Los Angeles Council has voted to go meatless on Mondays. While it’s not mandatory to go meat-free and the resolution won’t actually be enforced, city officials hope that the endorsement sets a good example for LA residents and inspires them to adopt healthier habits long-term. Meatless Monday, an international campaign that’s associated with Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, is designed to help raise awareness around how good nutrition can prevent chronic diseases. 

Why would you choose to go without meat on Mondays? Reducing meat consumption, even by one day, can have a healthy impact on the environment and your overall wellness.

You’ll help reduce your carbon footprint by foregoing meat once a week. According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the meat industry generates nearly 1/5 of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide. And raising meat requires more natural resources. Approximately 1,800 – 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef, far more than is needed to grow vegetables and grains.

Eating meat is a personal choice, and your bio-individuality may need some animal protein. But even if you are an omnivore, you can still improve your health by going meatless on Mondays. Studies show that by cutting back on animal protein, you can decrease your risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes. Cardiovascular disease kills 1 million Americans annually, the leading cause of death in the U.S. that can be prevented by lifestyle changes.

Here’s another reason why: by adding in more plant foods, even for just one day, you’ll increase the amount of fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients in your diet. These foods will help reduce inflammation (which is associated with many chronic diseases) and increase the likelihood that you’ll live a longer, healthier life.

Want to try going meatless this Monday? Here are a few ideas for dinner tonight:

For a hardy, warming dishes, try this Warming Lentil Stew or Creamy Broccoli Soup. For something meaty and energizing, try this Very Versatile Mashed Tempeh or Tofu Teriyaki.

What will you eat this Meatless Monday?