Make Meatless Monday
Your New Year's Resolution

December 29th, 2014

A new year is just a few days away. Along with being frustrated by accidentally writing “2014” instead of “2015”, many of us will also be setting resolutions to commit to healthier habits. One resolution to consider is participating in Meatless Monday. Why?—it’s easy, there are tons of free and delicious Meatless Monday recipes and cookbooks, there is a large community of support, and participating in Meatless Monday offers some terrific benefits for your own personal health and for the health of the planet.

For your personal health—studies show that eating more fruit, vegetables, and whole grains helps to protect against cardiovascular disease. Evidence also suggests that consuming red meat and processed meat increases the likelihood of certain cancers. Whereas, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables decreases the likelihood of certain cancers. Research also suggests that consuming more fruits and vegetables and less processed meat reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and people on plant-based diets tend to have a significantly lower body weight and body mass index.

For the health of the plant—reducing one’s meat consumption means you’ll minimize water usage. Producing one pound of beef requires 1,850 gallons of water, whereas growing 1 pound of vegetables requires 39 gallons of water. Eating less meat also means, you’ll reduce your carbon footprint. Beef generates 30 kilograms of greenhouse gas per kilogram of food; whereas, carrots, potatoes, and rice generate .42, .45, and 1.3 kilograms, respectively, per kilogram of food.

If the world ate 15% less meat (roughly one day of abstaining,) it would be like taking 240 million cars off the road each year. In 2015, let’s make that happen. Happy New Years.

Working on other health goals?  Healthy Monday tips from The Monday Campaigns offer a mix of ideas and inspiration on exercise, stress, and nutrition that can help motivate you to stay on track with your 2015 resolutions.  Sign up here.