There is a new program called Meatless Mondays that certain schools around the country are implementing. Do you think this program is a good idea? Do you feel that restricting meat is necessary to teach this nutritional lesson? What are the health benefits, or benefits in general?
For some people, there are health benefits in reducing the amount of meat (both red and white meat) consumed in the diet. The Meatless Monday campaign does not encourage complete elimination of meat and is reflective of a healthful diet, which includes a variety of foods from all the food groups.
The Meatless Monday campaign also emphasizes the environmental impact of reducing the amount of meat in your diet. For example, research shows not eating meat for one day can reduce livestock greenhouse emissions. (More information on this topic can be found at http://www.fcrn.org.uk/.)
The campaign encourages people to skip meat on Mondays because it is easier for some people to make a behavior change at the beginning of the week.
It seems that a lot of groups, including schools, are interested in reducing their carbon footprint. This could be a realistic way to do that and might even reduce the cost of food production.
It is important that schools have a knowledgeable food service manager that will ensure the food choices offered on Meatless Monday create a healthy and balanced meal.
Answered by Robin Gammon, MEd, RD, LD, Stay Strong Stay Healthy Program Manager, University of Missouri Extension & Jessica Kovarik, RD, LD, former Extension Associate, Show-Me Nutrition Line Coordinator, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Thursday, March 10, 2011