Canada has recently released its revised food guide and there are some noticeable changes. A big change is in the protein category. The emphasis is being placed on increasing the amount of plant proteins in the diet rather than animal proteins. It is evident that as the socioeconomic status of communities has risen, more and more people have started eating large quantities of meat. In fact, over the last 10 years alone, total global meat consumption has grown by 20%.
I'm sure you have heard that cutting down on meat intake is good for your health, but did you also know that it can be good for the environment as well?
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that the meat industry generates nearly one-fifth of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change worldwide – more than the entire transportation sector!
Imagine how much carbon and resources we could save if we ate less meat. Even just eating meat one less day a year would make a difference.
For instance, if, over the course of a year, you:
Ate one less burger a week, it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for 320 miles.
Skip meat and cheese one day a week with your family, it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for five weeks – or reducing everyone’s daily showers by 3 minutes.
Skip steak once a week with your family, it would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for nearly three months.
And if the entire U.S. did not eat meat or cheese for just one day a week, it would be the equivalent of not driving 91 billion miles – or taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
As you can see, the impact of not eating meat can really add up. If you are like me, you and your family may not be ready to become vegetarian but I certainly am willing to have at least one meatless meal per week, if not more. If you already do one meatless meal per week, maybe go for more!
And to get you started here's a great vegetarian recipe for Minestrone Soup.