The Meatless Monday movement is an easy, weekly reminder to take saturated fat off our plates and replace it with nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains.
Following on from last month, I will focus on how making a slight change to our eating habits can not only impact our health, but also impact our planet – in a really BIG way.
Becoming totally meatless may not be achievable but one day a week, preferably more is possible for us all– and here’s why!
Do you need help convincing your family…or even yourself? There are so many reasons why eating less meat will make you feel a whole lot healthier:
1. Your Health
- Reduces heart disease and stroke. A study found that a diet of 2.5 or more servings of whole grain, fruits and vegetables a day was associated with a 21% lower risk of cardiovascular disease. According to scientists at the University of Adelaide the consumption of meat contributes just as much as sugar to the growing prevalence of global obesity. Meat protein is digested later than fats and carbohydrates. The energy we receive from animal protein is a surplus, which is converted and stored as fat in the body.
- Limits cancer risk and reduces type 2 diabetes. Vegetarians are around 40% less likely to develop cancer than meat eaters.
- Live longer . Evidence suggests that eating more fruit and vegetables and a limited amount of meat can increase longevity.
- Chickens, cows, and pigs aren’t fed what they’re designed to eat. They are fed what’s cheap and what makes them grow incredibly fast. Rendered or the remains of dead and diseased animals, including road kill and euthanised pets are often used.
- Meat can also be laced with steroids, hormones and antibiotics (*eating less, but ecologically produced meat is best – see Son Mayol, below).
- Sex. Research has shown that the heart and brain are not the only organs that get clogged arteries due to a diet high in meat and cholesterol!
2. The Animals
- Around two million land animals are slaughtered every day in the UK alone.
- Switching to fish doesn’t help. During the process of fishing for tuna, 150 other species are routinely killed and thrown back into the ocean including sea horses, bluefish, dolphins, pilot whales, humpback whales, loggerhead turtles.
If we don’t reverse course, there will soon be no more edible fish in our o
3. The Environment
- In 2006 the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation concluded that worldwide livestock farming generates 18% of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions. By comparison, all the world’s cars, trains, planes and boats account for a combined 13% of greenhouse gas emissions.
- Growing pulses and grains to feed animals is much less efficient than eating them ourselves. It takes over 7500 litres of water to produce a pound (approx 28 gms) of beef, vs 185 litres to produce the same in apples.
- Along with hundreds of scientists and many major media channels, the head of the N.’s Nobel Prize-winning panel on climate change urged people to cut back on meat to combat climate change.
4. Your Wallet
- Meat accounts for 10% of the Western World’s food spending. Eating less meat is cheaper (in fact going vegetarian would cut the individual food bill down by an average €4000 ayear)
- Curbs long term healthcare spending . Every year chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes cause 7 in 10 deaths, and account for 75% of the $2 trillion spent on medical care in the US. It is estimated that the NHS in England spent £6.1 billion on overweight and obesity-related ill-health in 2014 to 2015.
Plenty of food for thought! For most of the ladies that I know, this wouldn’t necessarily be difficult. For some men, however I am fully aware that going without meat can feel like a seriously big deal (including my partner Hamish……)! But it doesn’t have to be with some creative veggie encouragement. Try online recipes from Deliciously Ella, take a Healthy Eating Nutritional workshop with Suzanne Garaty or visit Ziva and mymuybueno Deli for some delicious guilt free inspiration!
It is impossible to deny that eating less meat is better all round. However, if you are going to buy it try to stick to this rule: eat less but better quality meat. Here in Mallorca we have Son Mayol farm in Establiments. They produce Aberdeen Angus beef, as well as Bresse breed chickens, based on the principles of sustainability, quality, and 100% local and natural production. Animals are reared in a natural environment grazing in 150 hectares of pastures free of harmful chemicals. Calves are left to feed on their Mother’s milk for 10 months before being separated. They are reared with more care, living more natural and healthy lives. Yes, it is more expensive, but tastes 100 times better. Hamish has tried both the Mediterranean and the Chile flavoured Angus Burgers and declared them absolutely delicious!
Written by Amanda Butler
About the author
In 2002 Amanda arrived in Mallorca, seeking a change of pace and lifestyle after 15 years in London working in the hotel industry in international sales and marketing. She had a big wake-up call whilst nursing her dear, sweet and loving Mother through cancer. She became disillusioned with the main stream medical profession in the UK and began her own journey into alternative therapies and treatments. Since arriving on the island, her time has been spent combining a full time career in luxury real estate and pursuing her interest in personal development, alternative therapies and an holistic lifestyle.
Amanda’s drive and passion is to share her experience and knowledge to enable her friends, family, and the Nourish community to help find a healthier balance in life and embrace a more holistic lifestyle.
We can all take responsibility for ourselves, our lives, the society we live in, as well as the beautiful island and planet we live on.