Meatless Monday is a global movement with a simple message: once a week, cut the meat. Their goal is to reduce meat consumption by 15% for personal health and the health of the planet. I know, the carnivore in you just had a mini panic attack, but participating in something like Meatless Monday has countless benefits. And let’s be honest, anyone can give up something for just one day. So let’s go over a few reasons why you should incorporate Meatless Monday into your weekly routine.
On a personal level, reducing your meat consumption may lower your risk of chronic, preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Evidence suggests that diets that are rich in fruits and vegetables, and a limited amount of red meat can increase longevity, whereas red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in deaths due to cancer and cardiovascular disease. An added personal bonus to going meatless once a week is that it relieves pressure off your wallet. Meat is typically more expensive than plant-based alternatives. Think of all the cash you could save from making a simple cut once a week (try tracking it).
On a much broader level, going meatless once a week can minimize water usage and reduce greenhouse gases. Did you know that approximately 1,850 gallons of water are needed to produce a single pound of beef versus 39 gallons of water needed to produce a pound of vegetables? That is some serious water usage! Studies also show that livestock is one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems such as greenhouse gas emissions. With that in perspective, you can see that reducing meat consumption by just one day a week plays an important role in preserving our planet.
Animal welfare and the treatment of workers are other impacts in the race to produce cheap meat. Every year, millions of animals that are raised in factory farms experience terrible living conditions. These factory farms do not view animals as living creatures, but as merely a source of profit. By the same token, workers at factory farms are exposed to an array of occupational hazards and public health concerns. The health of people, animals, and the planet are compromised as meat consumption increases globally.
Now that you are a little more informed, you may feel more equipped to attempt Meatless Monday. If you need a little more convincing, read the recent article announcing Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to incorporate Meatless Mondays into 15 Brooklyn schools next spring. The program will provide participating schools with healthy, all-vegetarian breakfast and lunch menus every Monday. de Blasio comments, “Cutting back on a little meat will help make our City healthier and our planet stronger for generations to come.”A small sacrifice on your part can have a great impact on NYC and even the world. Try planning out your Meatless Monday this week by using the items you receive in your Corbin Hill Farm Share to design meatless breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Visit the Meatless Monday website for more information, recipes, and inspiration for your Meatless Monday journey. Let us know about your Meatless Monday attempts by tagging us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
'Tis the season for winter squash! Packed with rich, sweet flavor, winter squash brightens up any cold-weather dish. Many winter squash recipes offer both sweet and savory options. Try experimenting with the following savory butternut squash soup recipe.
2 tbsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 (32 fluid ounce) container of chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Recipe adapted from All Recipes
Cook time: 45mins
1. Melt the butter in a large pot, and cook the onion, celery, potatoes, and squash 5 minutes, or until lightly browned.
2. Pour in enough of the chicken stock to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 40 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender.
3. Transfer the soup to a blender, and blend until smooth. Return to pot, and mix in any remaining stock to attain desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.