Today marks the start of Meat Free Week in Oz, so we’ll be complete vego’s around here for the next seven days.
I’m not anti-meat but I try to limit how much of it we eat for a few reasons, and typically we eat vegetarian around three nights a week and red meat rarely makes it to the plate at all. Over the past year, meat has played less and less of a role in our household and none of us is missing it.
So why should you consider your meat intake?
For your health: Most people in western societies simply eat more of it than they need to. We’ve slipped into the habit of viewing meat as the star of the meal and having it at least twice a day, sometimes three. Too much meat, especially red meat, is linked to serious health issues like heart disease. You don’t have to give it up, but thinking of meat as the entree and not the main will do your body a favour. The healthiest communities in the world eat meat rarely, and plant-based diets are widely regarded as being the healthiest.
For the environment: Large scale meat production is not sustainable and carries a range of negative environmental impacts, including air and water pollution. Fish stocks are also being depleted because of over-fishing, so cutting back and choosing your produce from sustainable sources is a win for you and Earth.
For your hip pocket: Veggies and legumes are cheaper. If you have a committed carnivore in your house, show them the savings you can make by having a few lentil burgers over the rest of the year and see if they’re interested in giving it a go.
Do you have to become a vegetarian?
No. One way of eating does not suit everyone. What Meat Free Week can do for you is give you a reason to experiment with what you’re consuming and see how you feel when you cut back on meat and add in extra vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
I’ll be posting up on the Facebook page what we eat around here each day – it won’t be fancy or complicated I assure you. Just simple, nutritious meat-free meals.
Let me know if you decide to give it a go, even if it’s for a few days.