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15 August, 2021

Go for meatless alternatives

by Lucy Smith and Karen Jacobsen - Meatless Mondays

                            Meatless Mondays 

Wouldn’t it be amazing if every restaurant and cafe in our region had a Meatless Monday special on their board each week? How groundbreaking would it be if our region embraced cooking a meat free meal at least once a week every week of the year? The benefits are going to come as a bit of a surprise. 

History of Meatless Mondays Meatless Monday 

and Wheatless Wednesday were created by Herbert Hoover as a result of food shortages during World War 1. Of course this was for different reasons than the environmental impact. 

Recent Popularity of Meatless Mondays 

The campaign was started in 2003 by Sid Lemer, the Founder of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. This is a more recent global campaign designed to lower our overall meat consumption for our health and the environment.

 Why Would I Bother Doing This?

 Per kilo of protein created by kidney beans uses approximately 18x less land 10 x less water 9 x less fuel, 12 x less fertilizer and 10 x less pesticides than one kilo of protein from beef. These are staggering statistics. Oh and here is one more: Skipping one serving of beef every Monday for a year saves the equivalent emissions to driving 348 miles in a car. Based on current data and consumption patterns, if everyone on the planet went without meat for one day per week, we could reduce emissions by an estimated 1.0 gigaton per year. That’s equal to taking 273 million cars off the road. 2.5 million or 12.1 per cent of the Australian population already eat a vegetarian diet. Don’t worry, we aren’t asking you to do that. If you did, you would be an environmental rock star, but for now we are asking you to take a deep breath and plan for one meal a week without animal protein.

 But What If I Go Hungry? 

This does not mean you will be eating without flavour or feeling hungry at the end of the meal. Vegetarian and vegetarian-vegan cooking has come a very long way. You will not need to sacrifice your favorite dishes, as absolutely every menu you could imagine can be veganized. Plant based recipes are plentiful. Search up whatever you would love to be eating. For additional inspiration join our FB group where we post a simple Meatless Monday recipe every week and encourage each other to incorporate this way of eating into our routine. It is easier than you might think. If you are on the go, the plant based sections in the supermarket have excellent plant based alternatives.

  Biodiversity and species loss.

 We know this region and Australia in general is intrinsically tied to primary industries. Unfortunately the impact on the planet is worth stating. Livestock production is the biggest human contributor to species decline and has led to over 60 percent decline in species populations since 1970. Other inconvenient statistics include that nearly 15 percent of global greenhouse gases emissions come from the production of meat, dairy and eggs. The water it takes to produce meat is highest in beef, and it takes four times as much water as the same volume of vegetables.

Documentaries To Learn More and Be Inspired

 What the Health, The Game Changers, Cowspiracy, Seaspiracy, Raw, Supersize Me, Earthlings (please note: this film is very challenging) Food Inc. If there is a local business or zero waste initiative you think we need to know about, please reach out to us on Instagram @zerowastewhitsundays and for more resources join our private FB group. Choose one to implement a week or a month. Let’s share our ideas and work toward a truly Zero Waste Whitsundays. If you have tips on these, let’s hear them. xoxo  

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