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Meatless Monday for the Meat Eater

October 7, 2009

“Dude, for every tofu burger you eat, I’m going to eat a steak.”

Let’s just say Austin’s roommates were not helping the situation.  This week we tried Meatless Monday, a day that Austin had been dreading for weeks.  How would this staunch carnivore ever survive a day without his precious steak?  And why should he in the first place?

Meatless Monday, a non-profit initiative in association with the John Hopkins’ Bloomburg School of Public Health, asks that we reduce our consumption of meat by cutting it out of our diets once a week.

Why?

The mass-produced meat industry also mass-produces greenhouse gas emissions, nearly 1/5 of the total amount, in the form of methane.  One pound of meat also requires an estimated 1,800 to 2,500 gallons of water to produce.  (That’s a lot of H2O for a steak!)  And as the global demand for meat continues to grow, the demand for crops such as corn, soy, and other grains to feed our meat grows as well, leading to various other environmental problems.

Essentially: More meat consumption –> more mass-produced meat –> more feed for the meat = more greenhouse gases and water pollution + less land to grow food for us.

In no way am I saying that we should all become vegetarians.  Personally I couldn’t imagine giving up my favorite meat dish: baby back ribs (yum!).  However, going meatless once a week is an easy way to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint and our impact on the environment.

And for those of you who, like Austin, are self-proclaimed carnivores, here’s something to help you navigate the world outside of the steakhouse:

Austin’s “How to Survive Meatless Mondays if You Love Meat” Guide

image source: flickr

image source: flickr

Breakfast: Instead of bacon…try egg and cheese biscuit sandwiches.

Some may consider eggs to be meat, but for most, eggs and dairy products are ok.  Pop some refrigerated biscuits into the oven, scramble some eggs, and throw a slice of cheese on top.  A hearty meal to start your day!

Morning Snack: Instead of beef jerky…try dried fruit.

What is morning snack?  For foodies like Austin and I, morning snack is a legitimate time of the day.  Dried fruit are a sweet alternative (pun!) to the beef jerky that he loves.  Raisins, apricots, strawberries, mangos, the list goes on.

image source: yahoo

image source: yahoo

Lunch: Instead of a hamburger…try a Boca veggie burger.

I think Austin was more scared to try a veggie burger than sweetbreads (cow pancreas) at a restaurant we went to.  He sat there staring at the Boca burger, took a deep breath, and then took a bite.  His final verdict: “Not bad flavor, but the texture is different.  Overall, it’s ok.”

Mid-afternoon Snack: Instead of a turkey sandwich…try a protein shake.

I don’t understand how boys think turkey sandwiches are snacks, but apparently they are.  A protein shake can be just as filling and provide the protein you need for the day.  Austin’s favorite flavor?  Strawberry.

image source: hookedonheat

image source: hookedonheat

Dinner: Instead of chicken stir-fry…try veggie fried rice.

Add some stir-fry sauce, maybe scramble some eggs and you’d hardly notice that there’s no chicken! Plus, it’s a great way to clean out all those odds and ends veggies that you don’t know what to do with.

And a Janie tip: Focus on what you can eat, rather than what you can’t.

What’s your favorite meatless food?

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Lauren permalink
    October 11, 2009 12:15 pm

    BLACK BEANS!!!

  2. Jenessa permalink
    October 11, 2009 5:56 pm

    hummus and pita! yummy.

    I just made 7 layer dip without meat and it was pretty good too.

  3. Danny permalink
    October 13, 2009 6:46 pm

    Koolaid

  4. Blake permalink
    October 13, 2009 11:13 pm

    protein powder…….straight

  5. Austin permalink
    October 13, 2009 11:13 pm

    Scrambled eggs cooked in bacon grease.

  6. Craig permalink
    October 14, 2009 10:50 am

    You know, cows do pee that wasteful water back out onto the ground. Fact check @ http://www.beeffrompasturetoplate.org/mythmeatproductioniswasteful.aspx . I do very much enjoy reading your articles. You are exposing the many different viewpoints on these issues in an informative and interesting way.

  7. Camille permalink
    October 23, 2009 2:49 pm

    I’m from TX, which is quite possibly the carnivore capitol of the world. I’ve tried to go veg in the past, but I gave up pretty quickly because I was so frustrated with all of the things that I “couldn’t” eat. This blog post has a lot great tips…it kind of makes me want to give meatless eating another go!

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