With the new year upon us and resolutions abounding, I’ve been thinking about the compelling documentary, Forks Over Knives. Based on research by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, the film highlights the importance of eating a more plant-based diet to reduce our risk for cancer, stroke and heart disease, and to improve overall health. I recommend seeing it if you haven’t yet. But I would add that there are also plenty of environmental and economic reasons to increase your intake of plant-based meals.
Meat, even a less fancy cut, is expensive. And according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization 2006 study Livestock’s Long Shadow, “the livestock sector generates more greenhouse gas emissions as measured in CO2 equivalent (18%) than transport. It also is a major source of land & water degradation.”
As the mother of two growing boys, I know the lure of meat. The mere mention of bacon is enough to guarantee good behavior for the day at our house! But, again, I’ve been thinking a lot about resolutions for health, budget and my own carbon footprint. So, my goal is to go beyond Meatless Monday (serving one meatless meal each week) and serve at least 5 vegetarian dinners a week. Here is the list of our dinners for this past week.
- Sunday – Spinach, Potato and Parmesan Frittata
- Monday – Mark Bittman’s “Chicken Curry in a Hurry,” basmati rice & green salad
- Tuesday – Sauteed Organic Mushrooms and Onions over Whole Wheat spaghetti
- Wednesday – Soba noodles with Edamame, Carrots and Radishes
- Thursday – Broccoli Raab with Farro pilaf
- Friday – Organic Whole Wheat Chiocciole with Lentils and Kale
- Saturday – homemade Pizza with Goat Cheese and Onion for me, and Pepperoni Pizza for my husband and boys.
I don’t suppose that swapping out meat for plant-based meals will be easy, or that each week will yield success. My family is just getting started, and with kids, there are bound to be bumps in the road. I’ll share more about these meals and our progress in coming posts.