Meat Free Monday is a worldwide movement started to promote the awareness of the environmental impact of livestock farming. According to a 2006 UN report, livestock production for meat consumption contributes to 18% of the greenhouse gasses that are responsible for the acceleration of climate changes we are experiencing. So the torrential rain and horribly wet summer we’re having – all part of severe climate changes being experienced worldwide. So for one day, if you can live without your fry, ham sanger or spaghetti bolognese, you are doing your bit to reduce these harmful greenhouse gasses.
For more info check out the Meat Free Monday website.
So while animal welfare is one of the main reasons people become vegetarian, this movement was started for environmental reasons, not ethical. As part of this movement, I’m not asking you to become vegetarian, just to give up meat for one day of the week. Choose any day that suits you, Mondays just seem to work well.
Besides benefiting the environment, you’ll also be doing wonders for your health. In Western countries we eat far too much meat, far more than our body can use in one meal. Meat, even lean meats, contain saturated fats which are associated with heart disease, one of the biggest killers. Consumption of more than 50g of processed meats a day is considered unsafe and linked to a higher risk of colon cancer. So the next time you pick up a ham sandwich, think. Stop. And choose better.
Now just because you are have a meat free day, you can still make poor choices and end up eating total rubbish. Crisps and chocolate are vegetarian after all! And while I adore cheese, this isn’t an excuse to eat lumps of cheese indiscriminately.
I’m sure you’re all wondering: am I vegetarian? The answer is no. But once upon a time, I was a vegetarian, progressing to vegan and even raw food vegan for a stint. While I believe there are many benefits to these lifestyles, I now eat meat and fish, but am extremely fussy about the provenance of all my food. I now enjoy a wholefood diet, which is a diet of unprocessed foods with a variety of beans, lentils, grains, vegetables, fruit and good quality meat, fish and dairy. Local and seasonal produce is very important and I prefer organic where possible.
What I did learn during my time as a vegetarian and then a vegan, was how to prepare delicious meat free recipes. I draw inspiration from world cuisines and honestly, you wont miss the meat.
If you want to learn how prepare a wide range of wholefood recipes, join my intensive wholefood cookery class, Wholefoodish-Green Living Wholefoods on 6 and 7 October.
On my blog I will be featuring a whole series of recipes from my book Delish and others that I will include on my cookery course.
Let’s picture ourselves on holidays on a Greek Island and after a gorgeous day we order some Lentil Moussaka. Enjoy !