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March To A Different Drumstick

mm_byf_posters_11x17horz-1Meatless Monday, a campaign that began in 2003 to “cut out meat, once a week” to promote better health by consuming strictly vegetables, whole grains, and fruits for only one day.

Some may ask, why Monday of all days? Studies have shown that people are more likely to start a diet regiment or new exercise routine and continue it throughout the week on Monday more than any other day.

And why meatless? First, a low fat, plant-based diet overall can substantially reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, etc. And, just by committing to Meatless Monday every week, you are still lowering your chances of these diseases as well! Finally, not only are you doing your body a favor, you are helping the environment too. Meatless Monday can reduce the risk of: Heart disease, Diabetes, Cancer, and Obesity: Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains have been shown in studies to reduce the risk of all these diseases. Plant-based diets are naturally low in carbohydrates, low in saturated fats, and provide excellent sources of protein.

Meatless Monday also helps our environment by producing less:

Water: Livestock uses a huge amount of water to fulfill its needs. It takes roughly 2,000 gallons of water to make a pound of beef as opposed to vegetables that only use about 40 gallons.

Greenhouse Gases: Meat production has shown to significantly emit more amounts of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, than the three biggest greenhouse gases. Red meat, such as beef, makes about 30 kilograms (kg) of gases per kg of food, while vegetables and grains like rice and carrots make about 1 kg or less per kg of food.

Fuel Dependence:  It takes about 25 kilocalories (the unit of energy) of fossil fuel energy to make 1 kilocalorie of animal protein, while grain protein takes about 2 kilocalories to make 1 kilocalorie of fossil fuel.

If everyone were to commit to Meatless Monday, it can make a huge difference worldwide. Be  part of the movement.  Don’t have a cow! It’s Meatless Monday.

For healthy meatless recipes visit the Healthy Recipes of our website!



Gabe_head_shot_cropBy Gabriel Gonzalez
Gabriel Gonzalez interns at The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center®. He is focused on continuing education in nutrition and promoting healthy behaviors with many projects at the center, including writing and designing recipes and educational materials.


He is currently in his third year at Montclair State University. Gabriel is a Nutrition and Food Science major with a concentration in Applied Nutrition and also a Public Health minor. In his spare time he works as a cardio kickboxing trainer at CKO Kickboxing in Clifton. 

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