Thursday, March 18, 2010


"On an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Michael Pollan, whole-foods advocate and author of In Defense of Food and The Omnivore's Dilemma, was asked for the best way to reduce your carbon footprint. His answer? Eat less meat. In his family, they have one meat-free day per week -- every Monday.

This is the idea behind Meatless Mondays, a non-profit initiative of the Monday Campaigns and the Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health. Their goal is to help reduce meat consumption by 15 percent in order to improve personal health and the health of the planet.

Though Americans make up only five percent of the world's population, we consume 15 percent of the world's meat, and the meat industry generates a staggering one-fifth of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide." (from some article that popped up on my welcome screen)

I have tried over the years to restrict my meat intake. I certainly have enough Vegetarian Cookbooks to prove that I intended to do so. I've watched disgusting shows on meat production.

I once walked along a rural road in Kansas talking to the beef cattle that lined the fence, staring at me. All I could think about was the Restaurant At The End of the Universe where the cow comes to the table, for you to point to what body part, you want for dinner. Trust me, along that road, all by myself with just a hundred head of cattle and me I SWORE I would never eat meat again. I mean, who knows, I grew up on the Twilight Zone, for God's sake.

When we were first married we couldn't afford anything but hamburger. The only time I had a pot roast was when we trekked back to Maryland, to John's mother's house. My cooking bible, in those years, was 1000 Ways To Cook Hamburger, put out by the Junior League of Georgia. I worked with a woman from Georgia. We had casseroles every other night. Easy to make ahead when I worked and Zeus went to school.

I love a good steak. I mean I really, really love a New York Strip Steak. And, maybe it's just me but the next day I feel energized. I feel like my protein level just jumped back up to FULL.
I can take my Beano and eat a pot of lentils and still not get that feeling the next day.

I think my DNA has more of Hunter than Gatherer.

All that said, I still think that reducing my carbon footprint is a good thing. We also eat less meat than when the kids were growing up. We tend to eat soups, salads and pasta a lot. We eat a lot of chicken and those horror stories about how they are raised make me want to stop eating that, too.

Hmmmm, so what's for dinner? I need to think about this.

:)Bea Who would rather create than do laundry.


  1. We used to have meat free Fridays all the time when I was growing up. But that's because Catholics couldn't eat meat on Fridays. And we had meat-free Wednesdays because we were poor. So I think we did our part long before a carbon footprint was anything but Santa's. I think you are right - we need to stop eating all this meat. It's so bad for so many reasons.

  2. Teri, we still like to have fish on Friday's even though I'm not Catholic and my husband hasn't been for years and years. It might be because of all the great fish fries around here, though. :)Bea

  3. I can really relate to your post. On so many levels I want to be a vegetarian. Mostly I think it is because of the feelings I have for animals and for health reasons. And I don't actually eat meat regularly. But I am aware that I feel better when I do.

  4. We don't eat much red meat anymore. It has been better for our health I know. Besides it is quite expensive. When I don't have it for awhile I do crave it though. I have tried to become more of a vegetarian, and it is much more satisfying I believe.

  5. We eat lots of veggies too,,,but every once in a while, I just have to have that steak, or a good burger.
    We raised chickens when I was a kid and it was many, many years as an adult before I could eat it. I'm still picky about how it's prepared.

  6. Good post, Bea. Interesting how those of us on tight budgets turned to ground round, aka hamburger meat, to make ends meet back then.

  7. I was thinking about how, one summer, on a drive back from Napa Valley, we drove through a suburb. We were starved, hadn't stopped to eat dinner, it was dark, we were tired and somebody was cooking steak, on the grill. It was about 8:00 at night and I swear it was all I could do not to have John stop the car and go hunt down that grill and steak. OMG it smelled so good. Yeah, I'll do real well as a veggie. :)Bea

  8. Meat is good for you - maybe not the mass produced meat we have today - but meat has more vitamins and minerals than any other food. That's why you have all that energy the next day.

    Look, if we all became vegetarians, there'd be no reason for pigs to exist - they'd all disappear.

    Animals eat animals - that's just the way it is.

    Marlene Dietrich ate the same dinner every night - steak and salad (no potatoes). She retained her figure and lived a long and healthy life.

  9. All thru college I was a vegetarian...mostly. I would sometimes sneak off from my holy-i'm-a-vegetarian friends and go have a hamburger and french fries and a milkshake.
    I try to minimize my red meat intake. I rarely cook meat - only for big deal things. I tend towards chicken and fish - but there are some times when nothing will do but a good steak.
    I think we have to be aware of the impact of our eating - and find some moderation.

    have you read "animal, vegetable, miracle"?

  10. An interesting post Bea. Jim and I don't eat much meat, mostly chicken. I am no longer very interested in steak, although I used to love it. I love vegetables and could be vegetarian if I lived on my own. I never 'crave' meat! Only chocolate!

  11. All these years of not eating meat, I had no idea it was good for the planet, but it makes sense when you think about it. I make it for my boys. But, I have been meatless since collage. I only eat fish if I eat a meat. Vegetables do it for me. Thanks for the insightful post.