So many of us are taking an active role in living greener: taking the bus to work, driving fuel efficient cars, buying chemical-free household products, taking shorter showers, and so on. But one of the most obvious places for lightening your carbon load is often overlooked: the dinner plate. Consider the fact that if a family of four cuts out one steak dinner a week, it’s the equivalent of taking their car off the road for nearly three months. Those numbers really hit home for me; I do like my hangar steak.
The stats come from a report by the Environmental Working Group about the impact of our food supply on the environment. Food production, particularly production of animal protein, has a measurable effect on greenhouse gases. And little changes can make a difference. Indeed, if everyone in the U.S. skipped meat and cheese one day a week, it would be the equivalent of taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
So, as you plan your meals next week, consider making one, or more, meals meatless. And when you do choose meat, think about making the portion a little smaller and the quality a little greater. Organic, pasture-raised, grass-fed beef, for example, may make a greater dent in your pocketbook, but a lesser one on the environment. For inspiration on meatless (or almost meatless) meals, here are a few recipes you might like:
You can find the full report from the Environmental Working Group here