Would you like to save money and make family meals healthier – by missing out on just one ingredient once a week? Then maybe you’d try going without meat every Monday? The latest environmental and health trend to sweep the globe, meat-free Mondays are designed to help reduce the harmful effects of meat production on the environment – along with introducing some healthy and tasty food options to your kids’ diets.
Why go meat free on Mondays?
With the scheme pioneered by singer Paul McCartney, and his daughters Stella and Mary, we’re being encouraged to go meat-free every Monday to help our health and protect the planet. Research from the UK’s Food Climate Research Network found that food production is responsible for between 20 to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, with meat production accounting for half of these. Meat production also takes eight kilos of grain to produce a kilo of beef, with meat consumption leading to western nations eating a disproportionate amount of the world’s nutrients.
Try these recipes for meat free Mondays
Why is it good for your family?
Cut down the amount of red meat in your diet and you’ll reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease and certain types of cancer. Research over ten years by the National Cancer Research Institute in the US found that eating a diet high in sausages and burgers increases the risk of throat and stomach cancer by 79% in those who eat it most frequently. It’ll also save your family money: according to US finance company LearnVest, a vegetarian diet costs around $2 less per person a day, adding up to almost $1,500 for two adults over the course of a year.
Try these meat free Monday recipes that are good for the family
Thanks to Paul and Stella McCartney’s urging, going meat-free every Monday has become a celebrity cause. Go veggie for one night a week and you’ll be sitting at the same table as Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Bosworth, Bryan Adams, Richard Branson, Kelly Osbourne, Alec Baldwin, Woody Harrelson, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Sheryl Crowe.
Recipes even the celebs would eat
How to do it at home
If the thought of trying to feed your kids a veggie meal once a week fills you with dread, don’t panic, it just comes down to good planning. Decide on your meat-free meal when planning your weekly shop – so you don’t end up scrabbling in the pantry and serving up cheesy pasta again. And, while trying to get your kids to eat veggies may be difficult, having a regular night at home when you ‘try one new thing’ adds structure to a more adventurous meal-time routine and will make you feel like a super-mum when it finally pays off.