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Eat Less Meat and Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

January 24, 2012 Green Blog No Comments

January 23, 2012

Gaithersburg, Md

By: Alex Stavitsky-Zeineddin

Meatless Mondays is a growing trend followed by individuals, the famous, chefs, even countries, all desiring healthier diets and wanting to reduce their carbon footprint.

Sid Lerner, a marketing expert in New York City, coined the concept, Meatless Mondays, in 2003.   Mr. Lerner was diagnosed with high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.  He was advised to eat less meat and eat more vegetables to improve his general health.

Mr. Lerner decided to educate himself and the rest of the world about the benefits of eating less meat.  He teamed with up with John Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School for Public Health and formed the non-profit, Meatless Mondays.  The campaign that evolved calls for “eliminating meats from meals one day per week to encourage people to explore healthy dietary alternatives and increase awareness of the toll meat consumption takes on our health and the environment.”

Mondays was selected as the day to not eat meat because research proves that Mondays are the best day for anyone to start anything new and to stick to it.

Today, a total of 30 Public Health Schools advocate this concept.  San Francisco followed by Washington D.C. passed resolutions to have “meat free” Mondays so as to create awareness of the health benefits of eating vegetables and fruits, and to bring awareness of the environmental impacts of abstaining from meat.  Croatia, France, England, Japan, Canada, and Belgium are a few of the countries where a meat free day is also catching on.

Sid Lerner, now in his eighties and in good health, still comes into the Meatless Monday headquarters in Manhattan to oversee this non-profit ideal.

How does eating less meat reduce one’s carbon footprint?  The 2009 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that meat production creates more greenhouse gases than transportation does. According to Nobel Prize winner Dr. Rajeendra Pachauri, chair of the  UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the production of one kilogram of beef (2.2 pounds) creates as much carbon dioxide emissions as driving an older car for 200 kilometers or 124 miles.

GreenGaithersburg.com will be posting vegetarian recipes on Mondays by local vegan coach Caroline Cherry, local good cook Denise Clarke, and the non-profit Meatless Monday’s weekly recipes to make it easier to cook non-meat dishes.

If you would like to contribute your own vegetarian recipe, please email founder@greengaithersburg.com.

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