Meatless Monday is a national public health campaign encouraging individuals to eliminate meat one day of the week. The campaign is designed with a number of goals in mind:
Improve health. Eating a diet lower in saturated fat, found mainly in meat and high-fat dairy products, helps prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer, the four leading causes of death in America.
Lose weight. By eating meatless meals rather than meat-based meals on Mondays, individuals typically consume fewer calories.
Help the environment. Consuming vegetable-based meals helps conserve fresh water and better the environment by eating food raised in a sustainable manner. Participating in Meatless Monday also helps reduce, albeit modestly, the harmful environmental impact of cattle farming.
Who originated the Meatless Monday campaign?
1. Vegetarians who believe that the healthiest diet is one based on plants
2. The surgeon general, in an attempt to encourage Americans to tackle the expanding problem of obesity by cutting back on calorie-laden meat
3. A religious organization whose members believe that humanity is best served by giving up the practice of eating animals
4. Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, who encouraged patriotic citizens to forgo eating meat on Mondays to make more food available to troops overseas and to minimize worldwide food shortages
The correct answer is number 4. The tradition began with presidents Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, who were trying to conserve food for overseas troops during a time of worldwide food shortages. If you’d like ideas on what to serve for your Meatless Monday, check out some easy-to-prepare recipes here.