Contrary to popular belief Meatless Monday does not mean the dining halls are completely meatless; it just means the menu includes LESS meat. The noodle station and Kosher station in Douglass still serve meat, but we are encouraging students to try one meal a week without meat. Why should you do this? There are a couple of reasons:
1. Your Wallet
This year I live in Southside and in my apartment I have my own kitchen that I share with two other roommates. I personally like cooking for myself and when I went to Wegman’s for my first time grocery shopping I was shocked by how much meat costs! On a college student budget I could not afford to have meat everyday and instead of eating ramen every other meal I decided to try something different. I heard going vegetarian could save some money so I tried being a vegetarian a few times a week.
Coming from a large Italian family spaghetti is normally paired with meat sauce and a good helping of meatballs. Since I was trying to cut cost I tried pairing my pasta with some steamed zucchini and broccoli and tomato sauce. I do enjoy meat, but I was generally surprised by how filling and good my veggie pasta was and how inexpensive it was. (Plus I had lots of leftovers for another meal). A pound of beef at Wegman’s last time I checked was $4.19 a pound where zucchini was about $1.79 a pound and broccoli crowns were $1.69 a pound. Even if you buy a pound of broccoli and zucchini it only comes to $3.48. Even though you get multiple servings from both the vegetables and the ground beef I found the vegetables to give me more servings than the ground beef.
2. The environment
Not to diss cows, but meat production has an environmental cost associated with it. The average American eats at least 12 ounces of meat per day, almost 50 percent more than the recommended daily amount.(1) If each American cuts only one day of meat per week, we could reduce the need for meat by 1/7 . This would save many valuable resources such as fossil fuels, electricity and land mass. According to an infographic made by Door-to-Door Organic, if a family ate meatless once a week the impact would be equivalent to the effect of cutting out 1,160 miles of driving.(2) Check out the infographic below for some more interesting facts about meat production.
3. Your Health
As I mentioned above, Americans eat more meat than they should. According to studies done at Harvard School of Public Health, excessive regular consumption of red meat and processed meat can lead to a shorter lifespan and increase your risk of developing obesity, cancer, and diabetes:
“The study determined that each additional daily serving of red meat increased risk of death by 13%. The impact rose to 20% if the serving was processed, as in food items like hot dogs, bacon, and cold cuts.”(3)
We are not asking people to become vegans and cut out all animals products but to consider cutting out meat once a week. There’s nothing to lose by trying it—you’ll be benefiting yourself as well as the environment.
P.S.:If you have any other questions, concerns or myths about Meatless Monday feel free to contact Team Green (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
Author: Gabryella Pulsinelli