Meat Free Mondays

Don’t even think about making me give this up.
(100% Angus beef, no hormones, no antibiotics, humanely raised and BACON @ the Counter)

As you may or may not know, environmental policy is an important issue for me and I’d like to endorse Meat-Free Mondays not because I think animals have feelings but because of the environmental implications of eating meat. In terms of sustainability, meat is sort of that awkward cousin to the dinner table. What to do with it? Should it be dismissed or banned? Is it sustainable?

In moderation, yes but that hasn’t been the case. Our consumption of meat has gone up dramatically since we first domesticated animals. We have added hormones and selectively bred our livestock to be so fat and meat-ridden that they can’t even stand. We have over-produced and over-exploited the land so that our livestock is standing knee-high in their own waste. We have fed them only GMO corn and soy so that the health of our children is threatened by e. coli infections from the consumption of this meat, our farmlands have been sucked dry of nutrition and fertilizers have contributed to water contamination.

At each stage of the “food-chain” energy is always lost. From the sun to plants to animals. At each stage of the food chain, the original energy that was captured by plants becomes less and less. The energy loss makes it so that the general population of, say, insects is far less than plants and the population of frogs is much less than the insects that they eat. Humans have been able to forgo this rule to an extent (there is still a world hunger problem) through mass production at the cost of our environment and health yet our consumption of meat has increased as has our production of CO2 and environmental degradation.

As mentioned, it takes much more land and energy to raise one cow than it does to raise the same field of corn or veggies. It also takes about 8kg of plant material to raise 1kg of beef and while the world’s use of corn and soy could reduce world hunger, that crop is grown to be fed to livestock. The livestock industry accounts for ~13 – 18% of global green house gas emissions– not only are the animals producing tons of waste but the fertilizers that are needed to produce the plants for the cows to eat are adding to the problem. But I’m not here to preach.

I am by no means a vegetarian. Meat is too tasty to give up (I LIKE MY STEAK BLOODY) and I’m too lazy to even think of how to get enough protein on a vegetarian diet but I have definitely been eating much more white-meat and I rarely have red-meat. Luckily, there are some things that you can do to help that isn’t crazy extreme like doing a 180 on your diet. Meatless Monday can definitely bring awareness to this cause and can reduce your CO2 production. Plus one-day-a-week vegetarian meals are good for you no matter which way you look at it. Whether it be for health, environmentalism, or animal rights, please support this cause!

Our next recipe is vegetarian and it’s not salad. I’m probably never going to put a salad recipe on here (at least not in the near future).

boo salads (unless it’s very, very salty).


3 thoughts on “Meat Free Mondays

  1. sui says:

    salty? ew. just add oliver. I mean olives.

    dude karen this post is after my own heart.

    have you read any of pollan’s books? reading food matters now and dayum, all the numbers are way more concise: 1/5 of the world’s greenhouse gases is caused by livestock, more than transportation?? dewd.

    I’m vegetarian for a month right now and I might make this a permanent change. it’s been gradual, I used to LOVE meat and never would’ve guessed I’d ever stop eating it, but.. yeah, same for me, it’s not so much the I love animals part but the unsustainability (not a word?) of eating meat. rawr.

    also I used to hate salads!.. until I started putting avocado, banana, olives, mushrooms, tomato in them. I love avocado + olives. I used to think salads were just those iceberg packs my parents would buy with the gross red cabbage and tiny insignificant carrots.

    anyway I love food so your blog is awesome.

  2. Karen says:

    don’t even mention olives around me. LOL alex’s family eats it a lot and they know my aversion to it. HAHA– but other than that, I’ll have meat at most three or four times a week. Plus I’ll at least have a veggie meal a few times when alex is here to lure me into a burger because I eat dinner at his house so often and his sister is vegetarian so there’s always something meatless.
    Also, I know. I’m such a salt-fiend. I’m one of those people who are like, “these McDonalds fries are not salty enough.”

    By the way, Molly Wizenberg’s (blogger Orangette) article in Bon Appetit was great in Feb 2008 (Green Issue). It’s titled “Why I’m Not a Vegetarian” although she was for the last, like 13 years. On the culinary standpoint, there’s no way I would miss out on meat. Ecologically speaking, it’s that issue that’s poking at my sides every so often.

  3. Otilia says:

    Hello, all is going well here and ofcourse every one is sharing information, that’s
    in fact good, keep up writing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: