To put a face on climate change, Milton Glaser, a renowned graphic designer revealed a new logo—a green disk being swallowed by an ominous, smoky gradient.
In 1977, Milton Glaser created the iconic “I [heart] NY” logo that made him famous. At the time NY was nearly bankrupt and overridden with crime. The logo helped to shift perception and funneled a collective pride that encouraged real change.Now in an attempt to create a similar rallying around a cause. Glaser has designed a logo for climate change. This logo is a central part of an awareness campaign to get people to acknowledge and take action against climate change.
Really Glaser would like to re-brand climate change, as he sees “climate change” or “global warming” as watered-down expressions. Thus the name of the campaign: “It’s not warming, it’s dying.”
In an interview with Dezeen Magazine, Glaser said, “There is no more significant issue on earth than its survival. The question is, ‘how can anyone not be involved?’” And so Milton Glaser has given us another image, another opportunity to get involved and a chance to effect real, positive environmental change.
The reveal of this campaign is timely as now New York City is preparing for September’s 2014 United Nations’ Climate Summit and Climate Week NYC. Meatless Monday will be participating in and supporting Climate Week NYC.
Visit ItsNotWarming.com to get buttons and support the initiative.
According to a new study from Datamonitor Consumer conducted in 24 countries, a third of global consumers are cutting back on meat. This confirms the findings of the April 2014 Meatless Monday study conducted by FGI Research—there is a growing dietary trend toward flexitarianism.
Flexitarians actively seek to reduce the amount of meat they consume (not to completely eliminate it from their diets, very similar to many Meatless Monday readers).
There are a variety of motivations for making this dietary choice. The study revealed, however, that health concerns are the major catalyst. Three out of four consumers are limiting their meat in order to eat more healthily.
The results of this study correspond with the increasing influence of the Meatless Monday campaigns, which are now in 35 countries worldwide.
Meat production has been pointed to as one of the biggest sources of the pollution that is disrupting the global climate.
As a country, China consumes about two times more meat than the U.S. And meat consumption in China has been increasing steadily over the last half century. It’s more than doubled since 1985. This is in part attributable to the prevailing view in Chinese culture that eating meat is a symbol of wealth. So as China’s wealth increases—they now have more millionaires than any other country other than the U.S.—they’ve got the means to eat more meat. And so they have been.
And yet, while there has been a rise in meat consumption, there is also a counter movement forming, or a “new breed of Chinese vegetarianism” as Graham Land puts it. “This […] is mainly due to a recent rise in environmental awareness among China’s young and educated.
“Many Chinese, while not embracing a vegetarian or vegan diet, are becoming more conscious of how much meat they eat and where it comes from; for instance, whether it is organic or sustainably farmed.”
And maybe calling it a “counter culture” is not enough. Even the Chinese ex-Premier Wen Jiaobao campaigned for “one day vegetarian every week.” Others, who have attained a certain level of celebrity, have also embraced this ecologically aware eating movement. Director Jian Yi, recently released a documentary called, What’s for Dinner? Which focuses on more environmentally conscious eating. And pop music singer, Long Kuan, adds to the conversation by releasing a song titled, “LOHAS Queen,” LOHAS is an acronym for “lifestyles of health and sustainability.”
This is a counter current. It hasn’t yet turned the tide, but let’s hope it does, because as Janet Larsen, the Director of Research at the Earth Policy Institute says, “If everyone on the planet were to eat like Americans, we have the capacity to feed 2 billion people.” China’s population right now is at 1.35 billion and they are steadily eating more and more like the western world.
Many flock to popular social media outlet, Pinterest, for the latest and greatest from fashion to food. And according to US News and World Report, the platform can also be useful in budgeting, saving, organizing, and generating DIY or meal ideas.
When it’s used to curate and search Meatless Monday recipes, well then it’s satisfying a few of the benefits that U.S. News and World Report highlighted. Their recent article featured the Meatless Monday Pinterest Board as a means of organizing and meal planning—to help protect against unused leftovers or an improvised meal of fast food.
But we’d be remiss not to add that eating more vegetable proteins instead of meat is usually a money saver as well. And the Meatless Monday Pinterest page is an excellent source of deliciousness, featuring meatless recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinners—and many variations on chili, tacos, pizza, mushrooms and more.
There is a lot there. So we enlisted our Associate Director of Marketing to help pick out a few highlights. Here is what she suggested:
The MM Blogger Board—this board features over 80 Meatless Monday bloggers cooking, creating, and contributing recipes. So it’s eclectic, plentiful, and great place to browse. Here you’ll find a range of meatless recipes from main courses and sides to dips and desserts.
The MM Meat Makeovers—this board is a great place for everyone who has grown accustomed to having meat in the center of the plate. Here you’ll find crab-less crab cakes, vegan po’ boys, and meatless meatloaf or meatless meatballs.
The MM Mushroom Lovers Board—this board features the versatile and umami-rich mushroom. The board is the love child of Meatless Monday and our partners at the Mushroom Council. Did you know that September is National Mushroom Month? Don’t forget to mark your calendar.
The MM Summer Cookout Board—this board demonstrates that there is more to a summer cookout than hot dogs, hamburgers, and steaks. Here you’ll find alternatives to the usual (meat) suspects of cookouts, and you’ll also see some terrific vegetable centered sides.
The MM E-Cookbooks—the Meatless Monday E-Cook Books are an absolute favorite. Here you’ll find a wide range of recipes. And you’ll get to rub shoulders with some excellent chefs. Contributors include: Mario Batali, Matteo Bergamini, Mary Sue Milliken, Susan Feniger, and John Fraser—just to name a few.
Climate Week NYC is less than two months away. And as governments, businesses and individuals will gather to focus on ways to find low carbon solutions, one answer is right on our plate. Quite simply: eat less meat.
According to a study from Oxford University, as reported by the Washington Post, the difference in environmental impact between a heavy meat eater (defined as someone who eats more than 3.5 ounces per day as many Americans do) versus a light meat eater is significant.
And one of the leading factors impacting the environment is the industrialized meat industry. Slow Food neatly sums up the environmental impact of modern, commercial meat production in its just-released newsletter, Too Much At Steak. “The quantities of manure that the animals produce are so excessive that they become pollutants. The feed is produced by intensive cropping methods, sometimes hundreds or thousands of miles away, using environmentally damaging mineral fertilizers and pesticides. Industrial livestock production pollutes water, soil, air with excess nutrients from manure and fertilizers and is a large contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.”
That consumers aren’t more aware of the problem isn’t surprising, it’s a bit of an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ issue for most of us. It’s hard to imagine the cost of livestock production on the environment unless you live near a commercial feedlot. But if the effects of meat production on the environment aren’t in plain sight, it has been appearing a lot in the nation’s headlines, as food advocates, researchers and entrepreneurs have all taken notice of the issue and are doing their part to drive awareness.
“Beef itself is the priciest livestock out there, if you’re looking at its environmental costs.” commented Flatow during “What’s The Real Cost of Your Steak.” “According to the USDA, there are 87.7–almost 88 million– head of cattle in the US. Feeding, raising, processing all those cows takes a huge amount of resources.” The fact is, there is one head of cattle for every three Americans, and keeping this system going requires a lot of area to grow feed. “In the US, 47% of the entire surface area is devoted to food production,” points out Gidon Eshel, Research Professor, Environmental Science and Physics, Bard College. “Foods that we consume directly like vegetables, fruits, nuts, takes just a few percent, 4-5% tops. All the rest, something like 42% of the entire surface area of the nation, is to feed livestock.”
Looking at the issue in terms of its total cost, according to Mark Bittman, is crucial to coming to solutions. “If we acknowledge how much burgers really cost us,” he writes in “The True Cost of a Burger“, listing some of ‘costs’ as carbon generation, obesity, and risk associated with cardiovascular disease and mortality, “we might either consume fewer, or force producers to pick up more of the charges or—ideally—both.”
Meat Free Monday—Meatless Monday’s friend with a British accent—turns 5 this year. To mark the occasion and promote the cause, Paul McCartney and Meat Free are making a music video to go along with the Meat Free Monday song. And they’ve opened up an opportunity for you to be a part of the video—share a photo of yourself with some of the lyrics from the Meat Free Monday song, and you might just be included in the video.
“Having one designated meat free day a week,” Paul says, “is actually a meaningful change that everyone can make, that goes to the heart of several important political, environmental, and ethical issues all at once.”
The Meat Free Monday website goes on to say of the success of the movement, “The awareness campaign has had an incredible response so far. Some of the world’s leading authorities on climate change have endorsed meat reduction as an effective way of fighting global warming… And a huge number of celebrities and high profile chefs back Meat Free Monday…”
The Meatless Monday initiative is global, in 23 languages and 36 countries. And while there are many variations: Meatless Monday, Meat Free Monday, Lunes Sin Carne, and Köttfri Måndag (to name a few,) we all have the same two core goals: better health for people and better health for the environment through reducing meat consumption. So we don’t mind sharing the stage when it’s someone else’s time to shine. We celebrated our 10th year anniversary a few months ago. Now it’s Meat Free Monday’s turn to celebrate.
Meat Free Monday’s success is our success—join us in celebrating 5-year benchmark and contribute to the video. How many more opportunities do you think you’ll get to collaborate with a former Beatle?
Zucchini—you summer squash, you courgette, you flowering fruit who is treated like a vegetable—you are loved. This time of year, gardens and farmers’ markets alike are replete with zucchinis. And how nice that such a versatile vegetable is such a great source of folate, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. The zucchini is the subject of countless recipes and even a zucchini Pinterest board.
Want to show zucchinis a little more love? Right now is a great time to put them on your plate, and here are a few recipes to help you do just that.
This zucchini fries recipe is one of the most popular recipes on the Meatless Monday website. It comes to us via Sophisticated Pie. Lightly breaded and baked, these zucchini fries would pair nicely with the Quinoa Zucchini Burgers recipe below!
Quinoa Zucchini Burgers
This hearty burger is the perfect healthy substitute to a greasy hamburger and a side of heartburn. The recipe features zucchini, Portobello mushroom, bell pepper, and shallots, and comes to us via Cathy at A Life Less Sweet.
Julienned Zucchini Vegan Mexican Bowl
This Mexican-style zucchini dish is quick to prepare and requires only a few minutes in front of a lit stove, which is a big bonus on a hot day. And yet, the meal is super hearty and flavorful. It comes to us via Meatless Monday blogger Kalyn’s Kitchen.
Zucchini Tomato Cheese Tart
Here is a recipe for Zucchini Tomato Cheese Tart from Meatless Monday blogger Rebecca Crump at Ezra Pound Cake, featuring zucchini, tomato and smoked Gouda cheese. It’s a simple recipe that allows you to add your own twists; maybe you want to add the heat of a fresh chili pepper, maybe you don’t. Your choice!
Mama’s Italian Zucchini
This Italian-style zucchini dish features tomatoes, onion, garlic, and basil. It’s a simple and hearty summer meal that will please most any pallet, even a child’s. The recipe comes to us via our own Registered Dietitian, Diana Rice, posted at our Meatless Monday Prevention blog.
Black Bean Meatless Balls and Zucchini Noodles
If you’re still hungry for more? Well it just so happens that our Meatless Monday featured recipe also highlights the deliciousness and versatility of the zucchini. This recipe comes to via Meatless Monday blogger Myra at The Happy Health Freak.
Have a favorite zucchini recipe, one that’s just too good to keep to yourself? Post it via Twitter with the hashtags #zucchini and #MeatlessMonday.
Shaun Hergatt is the executive chef of Juni, a boutique restaurant which celebrates the height of the season. With over 20 years experience–not to mention three stars from the New York Times, two Michelin stars, and an across-the-board 29 of 30 ranking in Zagat–Hergatt is not new to the local, fresh food movement. After all, he’s been enjoying just-picked, perfectly ripe ingredients since his childhood, growing up on a farm in Australia. Meatless Monday met with Chef Shaun on a recent afternoon in Juni’s midtown location.
Meatless Monday: When an individual participates in Meatless Monday, we like to say “move the vegetables to the center of the plate.” You seem to have moved vegetables to the center of your restaurant.
Shaun Hergatt: Well, that is the philosophy behind Juni. Obviously it’s about local and as much organic as we can buy. The Union Square Greenmarket is a big segment of our ordering system because it’s literally up the street so I get to go the market three times a week. A lot of the food we purchase, a lot of herbs, the vegetables, we buy from the local area. My approach is: we only use premium products. They are expensive and we pay well for them.
MM: For our readers who want to enjoy the very best seasonal products, what kind of dining experience should they expect at Juni?
SH: For lunch, have a regular a la carte menu and also a tasting menu. For dinner, we only have a tasting menu. The tasting menus are designed to celebrate what we call the “micro-seasons.” The way the weather patterns change now, the way the dynamic of global warming is, we don’t have specific, segmented seasons anymore. People think: fall is fall, winter is winter, then spring and summer. It doesn’t work that way. A very simple example that I use often is ramps. Ramps are only in for about a month. Fiddlehead ferns are the same way. Or a very specific thing like a Fava Blossom that will only grow for two and a half months.
MM: Are people surprised to see an all-vegetarian tasting menu priced at $50?
SH: That’s a good question. People have this perception that vegetables are less costly. That’s incorrect. It costs me the same amount of money to produce these dishes as it does meat dishes. I’ll give you an example: morel mushrooms at the moment are $49 a pound. Toro, from a bluefin tuna, will cost me $50 a pound. So they’re equal on par, and you’ll probably eat just as much mushrooms as you’ll eat protein on the plate. So when we design our vegetarian tasting menu, we’re doing it as a promotional situation. We are saying: we respect vegetables, we are a seasonal restaurant, and we’re a very local restaurant. Everything on the plate is a superior product, so it’s a very special occasion when you eat these vegetables.
MM: There seems to be an uptick in interest in plant-based meals in recent years. Are you hearing this from your customers?
SH: Yes, we have a lot of customers requesting an all-vegetarian meal. And it’s not just on Mondays, it’s all week long. It’s probably 20% of our customers. So whether someone wants to come in because they participate in Meatless Monday or they just want to taste what’s in the market on any given day, what you’re finding now is people who are carnivores, who aren’t vegetarian, still want to try a vegetarian tasting menu.
MM: Where does your passion for fresh, seasonal food come from?
SH: Growing up in Australia, I grew up on a farm, so vegetables probably mean a lot more to myself than to most people. I think I have a very different way of looking at food. It’s just fun to eat vegetables. I know how to grow products, because I’ve grown them my entire life, but the thing is: we always react to our childhood memories, right? So that’s what I do. Yes, there’s a movement in America that people are starting to understand that vegetables are good for them. I can recall being a kid in a watermelon patch, opening a fresh watermelon and eating it all day. I know how a freshly picked watermelon should taste. So when I reproduce a watermelon dish, if it doesn’t have the proper flavor balance and texture–for one, we won’t use it–but when I do find it, I know how to enhance that flavor profile so it gives the customer the experience of a very high level product.
MM: The idea of having childhood memories related to food is a concept that, unfortunately, not a lot of kids in America will have. We have an initiative called The Kids Cook Monday dedicated to getting more families cooking and eating together, in part, to create those memories.
SH: That’s something that should be encouraged. Ultimately it starts with parents and it starts with schools. Children should be––not forced––but driven to understand what they are eating. But it’s not just what they are eating; it’s the whole package: it’s food, it’s exercise, it’s also mind exercise. Children need to be guided and educated; you have to build children so they have something to carry from their childhood and they have an understanding of what their goals are. Exercise is just as important as having a healthy diet. A healthy mind is just as important as exercise. So there are a lot of aspects that go into that, it’s not just the food. It’s the whole package.
MM: I think we agree. And I think that’s why a movement like Meatless Monday has taken off. It’s very moderate. It’s about a small reduction in meat consumption, for your health and the health of the planet.
SH: I’m not anti-meat; I’m all about balance. When I was a kid, we would eat meat nearly every day. It’s just the way Australians are. But the portions are quite small, and the rest of the meal is vegetables and starch. In America, when you eat a piece of meat, traditionally you go to a steakhouse and you get a piece of meat, it’s a brontosaurus concept. Instead, maybe you should eat a quarter of that amount of meat, along with a lot of vegetables and maybe you’ll be okay. I don’t think a vegetarian’s diet is necessarily more healthy than an omnivore’s; it’s all relative. Everyone has to find their balance.
MM: Juni—Latin for June—seems designed for the peak growing months of summer. Your website says your cuisine is ‘very much grounded by nature.’ Can you give an example of what that means?
SH: Here’s one example: soon, the all-vegetarian tasting menu will be replaced by an all-tomato tasting menu. Once the sun is a little stronger, and the tomatoes are a little riper, we will go to five-courses of tomatoes. People really identify with menus like that. If the food is too avant-garde, they don’t know what it is. But if you pick a tomato, everyone knows it’s a tomato. There are certain things people understand, it’s about hitting their memories. It’s all connected.
MM: Last question: it’s prime farmer’s market season. Any tips on how the average consumer can navigate their local market?
SH: First, you should look for an organic stall. Two, have a look at the product, smell it, feel it and taste it. And if it tastes amazing, it’s ready to go. You want something at the pinnacle of perfection. You want to pick products at their supreme ripeness.
On June 28th, Acacia Courtney was crowned Miss Connecticut. Her personal platform is “The Monday Campaigns: A Guide to a Healthier World,” a platform we’re completely behind. Last week, Acacia stopped by Monday Campaigns HQ to answer questions, take some photos, and meet the staff.
Meatless Monday: First, congratulations on a winning the Miss Connecticut Crown. How did it feel, what was going through your head at the time?
Acacia Courtney: Thank you! It was a very surreal moment. This was my fourth year competing at the state level in the Miss America Organization, and even though I felt that I was ready to do the job of Miss Connecticut, I didn’t know what was going to happen. When I heard my name called, it was a beautiful instant full of shock, joy, and an overwhelming sense of excitement and gratitude. It felt very surreal, and yet, at the same time it also felt right. I am someone who has grown up through the Miss America Organization, and I am beyond honored to have the chance to serve my state.
MM: Calling the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Program a “pageant” isn’t really enough is it? It’s more: for one, it’s a scholarship program and it’s also a forum for you to give voice to the issues (regional or global) that concern you. Beyond the ‘pageantry’, can you tell us a bit about what the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Program is all about?
AC: While we only see the contestants onstage during the final night of competition, so much of what the Miss America Organization truly is actually takes place in the months leading up to the pageant. The organization has labeled the four points of the crown as service, scholarship, success, and style, and we all strive to embody these characteristics every day. Each contestant has a personal platform that she promotes and advocates for, and each contestant is very involved in her community. The program expects a high level of academic achievement, and in turn makes available more than $45 million in scholarships each year. In addition, contestants work on a talent that they perform. All of the women that compete for the job of Miss Connecticut and Miss America are well-rounded role models who make a difference in the world around them.
The Miss Connecticut Scholarship Program has given me so much as a contestant, and as a young woman determined to succeed in the “real world.” The connections I have made, relationships I have formed, and opportunities I have been given have helped prepare me for college, internships, and a professional career.
MM: Why did you choose to run on “The Monday Campaigns: A Guide to a Healthier World”? And can you tell us your goal for Meatless Monday and your goal for Move It Monday?
AC: I chose to promote “The Monday Campaigns: A Guide to a Healthier World” as my platform because I want to be a part of changing the way we approach the concept of health. I am very aware of the obesity epidemic in the United States and have observed that there is an extreme disconnect between the farm and the plate—eating has become mindless and routine. I personally do not eat meat and am very active, but I love the Monday Campaigns because they advocate for small, easy-to-adopt changes that can make it easier for people to implement in their everyday lives.
My top goal for Meatless Monday right now is to create a citywide Meatless Monday resolution in both Hartford and New Haven, two of Connecticut’s biggest cities. I have followed the development of a similar initiative in Philadelphia, PA, and I believe that eatless Monday could be incredibly successful here in CT. I am excited to see what we can do and how I might leave this as one of my legacies as Miss Connecticut 2014.
For Move It Monday, I am working on planning various fundraising events throughout the state of Connecticut that will encourage exercise and physical activity. Zumba fundraisers, walks, and runs all have provided an opportunity to raise funds and to spread the word about Move It Monday. I also understand the power of social media in creating a weekly Monday challenge for followers and potential followers. I am very passionate about sharing Meatless Monday and Move It Monday, and the tremendous benefits of both campaigns.
MM: Can you share your favorite recipe for a Meatless Monday dish?
AC: My mom makes an unbelievable kale and bean soup! It’s just a tablespoon of olive oil, chopped garlic, onion, kale, and tomatoes, vegetable stock, navy beans, and some seasoning. It’s easy, filling, healthy, and vegan!
MM: How do you “move it” on Mondays?
AC: Dancing is my favorite way to move it on Mondays! I am a classically trained ballerina (ballet en pointe will be my talent for Miss America), but I also study jazz, musical theater, and international ballroom. I always suggest dance classes to those looking for ways to incorporate Move It Monday into their daily lifestyle because it is so fun that it often doesn’t feel like exercise. Dancing is a great way to express yourself, meet new people, and stay fit and healthy.
MM: Where do you see yourself in five years?
AC: My dream job is to be a sports broadcaster specializing in horse racing. In five years I see myself working for NBC Sports Network as a broadcaster and trackside analyst in the horse racing industry. In addition, I also plan to continue promoting Meatless Monday and Move It Monday as a speaker and ambassador, sharing my commitment to the creation of a healthier world.
It’s summer and farmers’ markets everywhere are flooded with locally grown fresh produce, herbs, flowers and breads. Diana Rice, our resident Meatless Monday Registered Dietitian, took me a guided tour through the Greenmarket in Union Square, NYC. And being an opportunist, I resolve to leverage her expert opinion to plan a dinner.
To impose a little order, I decide to limit myself to $20. It’s the peak of summer, and without such restrictions, I could end up sore-backed and–with all the choices–sore of wallet. She alleviates my financial woes immediately; I wouldn’t be spending $20 on this meal. The Greenmarket in Union Square is a year-round farmers’ market with over 230 family farms and fishermen participants.
At the first stand, we find “the center of the plate” vegetable—the hearty eggplant. People are often stuck in the rut of eggplant parmesan, but really the eggplant is quite versatile, according to Diana. The smaller, narrower varieties (such as Chinese eggplant) are typically great for stir-fries, while the bigger ones are great for baking or grilling. At this point I’m not certain what my meal will turn into so I go with a bigger Sicilian eggplant—and as I’m not a purist in the kitchen, I’m not worried that this decision will determine the direction of my meal.
Next we add a yellow tomato to the basket. Diana mentions that a big difference between the tomatoes from the grocery store versus the tomatoes at a farmers’ market is that the grocery store tomatoes are bred for appearance; color and roundness matter. At local markets, the old adage, “the uglier, the more flavorful” may be a better approach.
Then we add both a green and a yellow zucchini. She tells me the carotenoids and antioxidants are largely responsible for the orange-yellow color of the yellow zucchini (or yellow squash, if you prefer). But this doesn’t mean that the green squash is lacking in carotenoids and antioxidants, just that the green pigment overwhelms the yellow-orange color.
We check the onions. “This time of year, you never know what you’ll find from one stand to the next.” Diana says, “I always like to do a quick sweep of the offerings before I make final decision.” This is a smart way to combat the dilemma of too many delicious fresh produce options.
The meal is starting to come together, at least loosely. It’s looking like there will be a pasta or grain with fried eggplant and veggies and that there will also be a salad to put the tomato to good use.
At the next stand there are many varieties of lettuce. We decide to go with arugula—it’s more peppery, more bitter than a lot of the other varieties. And what better way to complement that flavor with a little sweet. We head to another vendor to select two peaches. And as almost an afterthought, we also pick up some fresh basil. Later this basil will become the flavor-thread that ties the salad and the main course together.
The total bill ended up being under $12 and with what I picked up at the market and the few spices and pasta I had at home, I fed 4.
Diana’s farmer market tips
• Try things you might not find in grocery stores: heirloom tomatoes, patty pan squash; these options often don’t hold up well over long periods of transport since they’re bred for taste, not durability
• You can always ask the booth attendant for tips on what to cook with unique offerings
• If possible, do a full sweep of the market to see what most appeals to you before you start making purchases
• If one item is priced higher at one booth than the next, there might be a good reason: organic growing methods, a more flavorful, yet harder to cultivate varietal…you can always ask!