Happy Friday, faithful readers! Unfortunately, I’m going to kill the weekend buzz a little bit with this post (but with good reason). Monday is, undeniably, right around the corner. Luckily, the University has taken part in Meatless Monday, a national initiative that makes Mondays a bit sweeter – and you can, too!
Colleges and Universities all across the country are jumping on board with Meatless Monday. Sporting the slogan, “one day a week, cut out meat,” Meatless Monday encourages people to eat a little less meat each week rather than removing it from our diets entirely. According to its website, the average American consumes 8 ounces of meat per day, which is 45% more than the USDA recommends. The campaign boasts numerous benefits of going vegetarian on Mondays, such as reducing heart disease and cancer risk, fighting diabetes, curbing obesity, increasing lifespan, saving money, reducing your carbon footprint, minimizing water usage, reducing fuel dependency, and many more.
UR joined the movement last fall. On the River Campus, Meatless Monday takes place in both Douglass Dining Center and Wilson Commons on Mondays for dinner, with expansions in the works. If you aren’t eating dinner on campus, consider eating vegetarian for one day a week anyway. Anyone can benefit from this initiative, not just students.
Vegetarian cooking can be challenging for many people. Luckily, tons of great resources exist for getting started. Exploreveg.org and organicauthority.com both offer great recipe ideas. It can be helpful to look to other cultures that have mastered vegetarian cooking, such as Indian, Spanish, and some Italian cuisine. Remember, you can be as creative as you like! Don’t be afraid to pick up that weird-looking melon in the grocery store you’ve been eyeing (or has it been eyeing you?). Or, use Meatless Monday as an opportunity to try making things from scratch or cook with the whole family. You could even start your own vegetable garden!
For more information about Meatless Monday, visit meatlessmonday.com.
By Melissa Kullman, Class of 2014