The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Join the Growing Number of People Going Meatless on Mondays
Philadelphia, home of the Philly cheesesteak, recently joined the growing number of communities urging residents to refrain from eating meat once a week.
The city council unanimously passed a resolution saying the city "recognizes the benefits of a diet high in fruits and vegetables and urges residents to participate in Meatless Mondays to improve their health and decrease their carbon footprint.”
A number of other U.S. communities, including San Francisco, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Oakland, have launched their own Meatless Monday campaigns. That's in addition to countless school districts, hospitals, corporations and individuals across the U.S. and in 30 countries around the world, according to the Meatless Monday campaign.
Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. Red and processed meat consumption is associated with increases in total mortality, cancer mortality and cardiovascular disease mortality. Consuming beans or peas results in higher intakes of fiber, protein, folate, zinc, iron and magnesium and lowers intakes of saturated fat and total fat.
Going meatless can help reduce your carbon footprint, too. The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide—far more than transportation. Annual worldwide demand for meat continues to grow. Reining in meat consumption once a week can help slow this trend.
Meatless Mondays can save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel. The water needs of livestock are tremendous, far above those of vegetables or grains. An estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef. Tofu produced in California requires 220 gallons of water per pound.
On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S. Compare this to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein. Moderating meat consumption is a great way to cut fossil fuel demand.
The Meatless Mondays campaign emerged from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Public Health in 2003, but its roots go back much further. Meatless Mondays says that merely eliminating meat is not enough—healthy, environmentally friendly meat-free alternatives such as beans, should be added as well.
Here's a video that explains the Meatless Monday campaign:
Visit EcoWatch’s FOOD page for more related news on this topic.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Charli Shield
At unsettling times like the coronavirus outbreak, it might feel like things are very much out of your control. Most routines have been thrown into disarray and the future, as far as the experts tell us, is far from certain.
By Elizabeth Henderson
Farmworkers, farmers and their organizations around the country have been singing the same tune for years on the urgent need for immigration reform. That harmony turns to discord as soon as you get down to details on how to get it done, what to include and what compromises you are willing to make. Case in point: the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038), which passed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2019, by a vote of 260-165. The Senate received the bill the next day and referred it to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it remains. Two hundred and fifty agriculture and labor groups signed on to the United Farm Workers' (UFW) call for support for H.R. 5038. UFW President Arturo Rodriguez rejoiced:
By Julia Conley
A council representing more than 800,000 doctors across the U.S. signed a letter Friday imploring President Donald Trump to reverse his call for businesses to reopen by April 12, warning that the president's flouting of the guidance of public health experts could jeopardize the health of millions of Americans and throw hospitals into even more chaos as they fight the coronavirus pandemic.
By Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner
Over six gallons of water are required to produce one gallon of wine. "Irrigation, sprays, and frost protection all [used in winemaking] require a lot of water," explained winemaker and sommelier Keith Wallace, who's also a professor and the founder of the Wine School of Philadelphia, the largest independent wine school in the U.S. And water waste is just the start of the climate-ruining inefficiencies commonplace in the wine industry. Sustainably speaking, climate change could be problematic for your favorite glass of wine.