Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Meatless Mondays

I mentioned earlier that we are doing "Meatless Mondays" at the Gordon house. I am lucky that the girls enjoy beans and soups. So far, that is what I am sticking with. But to do this for the year, I will have to be a bit creative. This video sets forth the challenge. It is a bit zealous, but I believe from what I have been reading, that small changes like this can make a big difference. There is an article in this week's Time Magazine about the making a difference through Farm Raised meat, too.


So- here are some facts:

  • In 2006, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report actually found that the raising of livestock accounted for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions for the world (compared that to the 11% that is created by our transportation). In fact, it takes eight times the amount of fossil fuel energy to produce a single protein of animal product, compared to a single plant based protein. According to this report, meat production is the largest contributor of greenhouse gases.

  • In addition the production and raising of livestock uses 30% of the Earth’s arable land for pasture, an additional 33% of the land to grow and cultivate their feed and 5000 gallons of water to produce a single pound of meat (compare that to the 25 gallons of water that is needed to produce one pound of wheat). Livestock also contributes substantial amounts of pollution to the water supply due to their manure, antibiotics and the pesticides used to produce their food.

Health Benefits
REDUCE RISK OF HEART DISEASE. Beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds contain little to no saturated fats. Reducing your intake of saturated fats can help keep your cholesterol low and reduce your risk of heart disease.
MAINTAIN HEALTHY WEIGHT. A plant-based diet is a great source of fiber, which is absent in animal products. Foods rich in fiber make you feel full with fewer calories, resulting in lower calorie intake and less overeating. On average, Americans get less than half the recommended daily quantity of fiber.
IMPROVE OVERALL QUALITY OF DIET. Consuming dry beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium with lower intakes of saturated fat and total fat.

Environmental Benefits
REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide . . . far more than transportation. And annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.
HELP REDUCE FOSSIL FUEL DEPENDENCE. On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein. Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand.

To find out more- go to http://www.meatlessmonday.com/

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