Meatless Monday, a Win-Win for People and Planet

Fairfield Green Food Guide readers are officially invited take the pledge to go meatless one day a week by joining Meatless Monday, a growing national movement to eat meat-free meals one day a week.  Each week we’ll post a seasonal recipe to support you in your efforts to eat a little greener (and healthier too!). We pledge not to compromise on flavor and to inspire you with new and exciting flavors. Area chefs are invited to submit favorite recipes too and right now we’re requesting veggie burger and cold summer soup ideas.

The Environmental Working Group has just released The Meat Eater’s Guide to Climate Change and Health, a handy online guide to improving your health and the health of the environment through sustainable meat choices. It includes a recommendation to practice Meatless Mondays, citing this quote from real food activist and author Michael Pollan.

“The single most important thing any of us can do to shrink the environmental footprint of our eating is to cut back on our meat eating — doing so has a bigger impact than eating local or organic.” -Michael Pollan, Author and food activist

When you do eat meat, avoid factory farmed beef, poultry, pork and dairy; choose grass-fed, pasture-raised, and organic meat and dairy instead. Approximately 99 percent of the meat sold in restaurants and grocers if from factory farms (CAFOs) where animals are raised in close confinement, fed an unnatural diet of genetically modified (GM) corn and soy, and are routinely treated with antibiotics to keep them from getting sick. Raising animals in this manner might produce cheap meat for the consumer, but what’s rung up at the register doesn’t factor in the true cost to the environment and human health. Don’t fall victim to the illusion of cheap food. The real cost of producing and eating food from the industrial food chain will have to be paid for by generations to come.

Where to find green meat for the rest of the week, while still eating less meat overall:

Many Connecticut farmers raise livestock and poultry on pasture and sell beef, pork, lamb, turkey, chicken  and dairy products at farmers’ markets throughout the state and through CT Farm Fresh Express, an online ordering and home delivery service of exclusively CT Grown products.

Some farms offer meat CSAs that deliver to area communities, including Laurel Ridge Farm. Saugatuck Craft Butchery, a full-service sustainable butcher shop, will be opening in Westport in September.

Don’t forget to register your pledge with Meatless Monday and visit Fairfield Green Food Guide weekly for new recipes. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter @GreenFoodGal and subscribe to our newsletter so you don’t miss a recipe. When we reach 1,000 Facebook fans (only 25 to go!), we’ll announce a sweepstakes for a free vegetarian cooking class with a local chef.

Related Articles:

While You Were Eating

A Dozen Ways to Eat Green

Nose-to-Tail Craft Butcher to Open at Saugatuck Center

The New, Old-Fashioned Butcher

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