Americans often have options when it comes to what they eat. But what you eat can cost you. That is one reason why meat consumption is down. According to Gourmet.com:
Meat is the single most expensive thing Americans eat, and in tough times it’s one of the first things to go. Fifty-one percent of shoppers surveyed by the American Meat Institute say they have changed their meat purchasing relative to the economy. Despite the recent increase in home cooking, the average family only prepares 3.9 evening meals that include a meat item, down from 4.2 meals last year.
Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, is the author of The Flexitarian Diet. For her, delicious and easy plant-based dishes are practical:
Even before the economy tanked, my idea was to save people money by eating less meat. What I’ve found over the years is that if something is less expensive, very convenient, and tastes great, it’s bound to stick. We’re creating a whole generation of people who don’t have to be vegetarian to enjoy vegetarian or flexitarian cuisine.
A flexitarian is a person whose diet is mostly vegetarian but sometimes includes meat. WebMD explains that we can make choices in our diet that address protein without removing meat altogether. By simply reducing the amount consumed, our bodies function better:
There is plenty of scientific evidence to support the healthfulness of a diet made up mostly of plant foods.
Cutting back on meat will save you money and improve your health. Doing so also has a profound effect on the environment. According to the Meat Eaters Guide to Climate Change & Health:
If you eat one less burger per week, it’s like taking your car off the road for 320 miles, or line drying your clothes half the time.
If your 4-person family skips meat and cheese 1 day a week, it’s like taking your car off the road for 5 weeks or shortening everyone’s daily shower by 3 minutes.
At Cool Choices, our philosophy is that small actions matter and they accumulate. We provide opportunities for corporations and organizations to engage employees at work and within their individual lives in areas that have potential for big savings. These areas include waste, water use, and food choices, to name a few. Through simple, environmentally sustainable game-play activities, we use fun as a way to improve individual wellness while saving money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We are seeing a lot of players in our games give meatless days a try. One day a week is not so hard and it gives families the opportunity to try new recipes.
Even if we do not acknowledge it, so much of what we do including what we eat, impacts both our health and the health of our environment. This is good, because our actions influence the state of our planet Earth more than we might first think.