It’s good for you and the environment
“Meatless Mondays” is a daunting title for a cause that aims to help the environment and human health. According to a study published in Public Health Nutrition in 2018, many Americans hold the belief that meat is necessary for a healthy diet, and it’s easy to see why.
Meat tastes good and it is often the item around which an entire meal can be prepared. It has been a frequent part of the human diet for thousands of years. But what are the effects of meat production on our health? How about in our environment?
According to the study mentioned above, excess meat consumption (red meat and processed meat in particular) is associated with heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers.
In addition, non-therapeutic antibiotic use in industrial food animal production promotes the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria which then threatens the effectiveness of antibiotics used with humans.
Our environment is also being negatively impacted by large-scale meat production. NASA concludes that mass production of livestock is a source of methane, a greenhouse gas and a major contributor to global warming.
The Public Health Nutrition study notes that the environmental impact of meat consumption includes contamination of water, air and soil, as well as greater use of resources such as water and fuel compared with other food sources (such as grains and fruit).
Globally, the Meatless Monday Movement exists in over 40 countries including India, Iran and Singapore. People from all walks of life and all religions are part of the movement.
In January 2019, the NDSU extension service, which works with NDSU agriculture departments, published a newsletter with information to support and encourage Meatless Mondays for health and environmental reasons.
So, what can you do? Easy: cut meat out of your diet only one day a week and encourage friends and family to do the same.
Need some help? There are a lot of great websites available with delicious recipes that ensure that you are getting all the protein and nutrients that you need while participating in Meatless Monday. Learn more at meatlessmonday.com.
On the NDSU campus, Dining Services provides meatless and special diet options like vegetarian and vegan to accommodate students who are becoming more conscientious about their eating habits.
A group of social work/HDFS students have also created a website and social media sites dedicated to providing information about Meatless Mondays. Utilizing these sites can help spread awareness to a larger audience. Visit our website, meatlessmondayndsu.godaddysites.com, or find us on Instagram @meatlessmondaysndsu to see who is joining the movement in your community.
Join the Meatless Monday movement!
Jerrica Rosenlund and the other Social Work/HDFS students in the Fall 2019 SWK 427 class:
Rebecca Tripp, Amelia Kollie, McKenna Karas, Rebecca Schermer, Tasha Neumiller, Rebekka Wanner, Ashley Minske, Jasmine Flaten, Lori Domine, Ciera Traylor, Brooke Sundvall, Maryim Jaber, Jessica Senkyr and Megan Roder