The meatless meal movement initially began during World War I when meat was scarce and was revitalized during WWII, so more meat could be allocated to the war effort.
This meatless meal idea was once again revived in the early 2000s as “Meatless Mondays,” a health-focused marketing campaign for the USDA. The campaign centered on the idea that even one meatless day per week could help both individuals and society as a whole. On an individual level, Meatless Mondays could reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, prevent type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and help maintain a healthy weight, whereas the global goal of Meatless Mondays aims to save water, produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our carbon footprint.
Meatless Mondays have continued to grow in popularity and have become championed by celebrity chefs, schools, and restaurants in over 40 countries! Restaurants and meal kit companies are offering more tasty, flavorful “plant-based meats” than ever before, so if you’ve never tried a meat-substitute or if you are looking for a fresh way to eat more vegetables, now is the time to try something new!
Green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and fruits (both fresh and dried) combined with protein including chickpeas, tofu, beans, lentils, quinoa, nuts, and seeds help provide and maintain a balanced diet.
Before you add more plant-based choices and/or reduce meat from your diet, be sure to consult with your dietician or physician.