Celebrity chef Mario Batali has long touted the benefits of going meatless. He first joined the movement in May of 2010, after learning about the health and environmental impact of the standard American diet:
“In recent years I’ve been more aware of how much my food choices impact our planet. I was introduced to the Meatless Monday campaign and realized that eating a little less meat makes a big impact, both when it comes to losing weight and getting healthier, as well as relieving some of the tremendous burden on our environment.”
Since then Batali has become a Meatless Monday crusader, offering weekly specials in all 14 of his U.S. restaurants and even enjoying Meatless Monday meals at home with his family. Now the chef, author, and soon-to-be talk show host is asking all of us to join him.
In light of the latest findings by the Environmental Working Group, Batali is encouraging individuals everywhere to take the Meatless Monday pledge. The EWG’s report highlights many of the known benefits of cutting back on meat and offers some new insights about personal and planetary health. Batali says that now is the time to act, not only for ourselves but for the health of the next generation:
“This issue is particularly important to me because it so profoundly affects children. Studies have found that young kids are eating triple the currently recommended amount of protein, mostly from meat, yet few eat enough fruits and vegetables. If we don’t take action now and teach our kids how to eat less meat, more and more of them could face serious health conditions such as heart disease, stroke and even some types of cancer as they get older.”
Meatless Monday is an easy, weekly way to make the transition to healthier habits. “What I love about this campaign,” muses Batali, “is that you don’t have to be a vegetarian to eat healthier. That’s not realistic for everyone, but you can make a lasting impact on your health and on our planet by making even small changes in your diet!”
Follow Mario Batali’s lead this week and take the Meatless Monday pledge! Even if you already go meatless each week, signing the pledge is a great way to show your support. Once you’re on board, share Meatless Monday meals with your family! By encouraging them to opt for more fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains, you’re helping them lead a long, healthy life.