“Meat is horrible.”
That was the headline I saw all weekend on my iPhone News shortcuts screen. It was dated July 3rd but yet it remained well past that date for a couple of days. I found this odd since the headlines traditionally change hourly. Did Apple really want me to read this article?
So, I finally clicked on it.
It may be delicious, but the evidence is accumulating that meat, particularly red meat, is just a disaster for the environment — and not so great for human beings, either.
The author Rachel Premack details the environmental, ecological, and health reasons why American’s should cut back or give up meat. “You need 48 times as many liters of water to produce the same amount of beef as veggies,” she exclaims. Premack also argues the unsustainability of animal agriculture, and addresses how $730 billion in health care costs could be avoided.
This isn’t exactly news to me but the fact that the Washington Post is publishing it is a big deal. Every “Earth Day” it seems I write a post about how eating less meat helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which are contributing to global warming. I make it a priority to eat a more vegetarian diet and then forget as soon as I want to lose a few pounds, focusing on a high protein diet.
Agriculture today accounts for one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions — posing one of the biggest challenges to countries desperately trying to curb the emissions that promote global warming. And half of those agriculture emissions come from livestock, which produce large amounts of methane, a short-lived but powerful greenhouse gas.
If you are unsure of how global warming is effecting the world we live in, I highly suggest checking out a documentary on HBO called “How to Let Go of the World and Love All Things Climate Can’t Change.” The message is powerful and puts everything into current perspective with personal stories.
Premack goes on to suggest ways in which we might try to curb the amount of meat we eat like taxing meat, but that scenario just reminds me of the NYC soda tax that has been kind of a failure. More importantly, it points out that spreading awareness about the benefits our planet would reap if we could just change our habits.
An article today in our local newspaper talked about making a better burger by adding mushrooms to our beef patties. Slowly, I think the message is making its way around…
The real problem, I think, is changing our habits. I know why I should eat less meat, and while we are at it SUGAR and ALCOHOL but it’s really hard to stick to any diet that is different from our current one.
Many of us are conditioned to think of meat as a staple to our meals. We have been making recipes for generations passed down by family members that are part of our repertoire. It’s hard to grocery shop on the fly for vegetarian meals without a recipe in hand.
Breakfast is easy to go meat free. I love smoothies, oatmeal, toast, or English muffins. I originally got into Almond milk because it has 60 fewer calories per serving than skim milk. Now, I like it primarily because it’s dairy free.
My breakfasts are not devout of protein either, it just comes from non-meat sources like nuts, seeds, vegan protein powder. The only time it gets tricky is out for coffee as most places do not have dairy free milk options which is why I usually drink coffee at home or order it black. My go to is with Silk’s Unsweetened Vanilla Almondmilk.
The most challenging meals are without a doubt lunch and dinner for live long meat eaters. Grilling up chicken or steak are easy for me. Recipes are not required. They are relatively healthy and go well with simple side dishes. Veggies and beans on their own just don’t have a ton of flavor for a satisfying meal…
So how do I or WE break out of this funk!?
I’ve found that the best way to get good at making vegetarian meals are through the meal delivery services like Just Add Cooking or Blue Apron. They aren’t always the healthiest and the recipes can be hit or miss but they teach you how to cook with tofu, seitan, tempeh and beans. I haven’t tried Purple Carrot or Hungry Root, which only offer vegan meals, but I think it’s finally time I take the plunge.
Other great resources include Pinterest and some of my favorite vegan bloggers like Oh She Glows. I must admit, I don’t love making recipes from these two sources because I find you are required to buy obscure ingredients that you may not use again which is why I like the meal delivery option best.
I want to eat more vegetarian meals but like many of you, I worry about too many carbs, too much soy, not enough protein and if I’ll feel full.
Also, I do have some dairy based favorite treats. I love ice cream and yogurt. So Delicious makes a great dairy free frozen desert and Silk has a nice yogurt alternative I use to make my muesli. I love the Cashew Milk Chocolate Cookies ‘n’ Cream Non-dairy frozen dessert.
Best of all, I love FOMU which is a local Boston company that makes vegan ice cream using coconut milk and is to die for good. Seriously, check it out if you haven’t.
So bottom line, I’m good on breakfast and desserts and just need help with my lunches and dinners to eat a more earth friendly diet.
The more I read about the effects of meat on our planet, the more I want to eat a plant based diet with meat on occasion. As I’m not a vegan and I don’t intend to become one, I do hope this post encourages you to also more mindful of your diet not just in terms of your own health but also the planet.
I’d also love to know your thoughts on the Washington Post article. I thought it was funny that before the first sentence there is a large disclaimer that it had been edited to update some of the facts.
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This post is sponsored by Silk. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Find Silk at a retailer near you, here.