Less Meat: Good for You, Good for the Planet

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:

PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM BURGERS

CRISPY FILO SPINACH PIE

THE CLASSIC OMELETTE

FARRO RISOTTO WITH ASPARAGUS AND SPRING ONIONS

Crispy Avocado Tacos

You can find the full report from the Environmental Working Group here

Comments

11.04.2011 at 12:28 PM #

lucy

We have totally been doing this the last 2-3 weeks and I love it. I did it because of wanting healthier quality meats, and meat less often.
It’s so good to learn that I am also making a good impact on the environment.

Sharing this information w my husband will hopefully help him be more accepting of it too 🙂

11.04.2011 at 12:28 PM #

katiemorford

That’s great. My husband is quite fond of his meat , too, so these stats are really helpful reminders.

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