Kezia introduces us to Meat Free Mondays!
Why Meat Free Mondays (MFM)?
MFM has started as a global movement to encourage people to have one day in the week free of meat. There are a few factors behind this movement as to encourage those to try it out
1) The environment – Eating less meat can help minimize the ecological footprint that livestock have on the earth. Less people eating meat will result in less stock breeding therefore less greenhouse gas emissions. Other ‘livestock’ factors which drain the earth’s resources include vast amounts of water involved in the production of meat, deforestation to make pastures, as well as pesticides, antibiotics accumulation on the earth.
2) Animals – Meat production has lead to the development of commercial methods of farming. Ignoring the ‘rights of animals’ as such.
Are there any health benefits?
Vegetarian eating habits have been associated with lower risks of disease i.e. high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and obesity. The reason being is that vegetable food sources have less saturated fat, higher fibre as well as vitamin and mineral content than compared to meat sources. So choosing MFM may help people choose healthier, lower fat protein foods, as well as creating awareness of other meat-free protein sources (chickpeas, lentils, soya, quinoa, cheese, milk). This doesn’t mean that one can just eat cheese - cheese is a dairy-based food, but is very high in saturated fat. So, care must still be taken when choosing meatless foods.
Mondays have traditionally been the ‘start of healthy eating’ day of the week. So it may be easier to choose healthier meat-free food options on a Monday compared to any other day of the week. A memorable alliteration also never hurt anyone!
Chickpea and soya patties with potato wedges and a side-salad
Lentil curry with basmati rice
Soya spaghetti bolognaise
I do like the idea of Meat Free Mondays. Not only will it allow us to try something new and different, but it also makes us more aware of our health. Being healthy does not necessarily mean salad, but rather choosing other types of healthier vegetable-based protein foods, which makes our eating far more adventurous.
Check our blog every Monday for a new Meat Free Monday Recipe!
Lila Bruk is a registered dietician, nutritional consultant and freelance health journalist.
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