Animal welfare not a big concern to you? Not one of those bleeding hearts who watches a documentary on how food animals are mistreated and it causes you to temporarily (if not permanently) go veggie? Perhaps you instead are concerned with the environmental impact of eating meat? If so, read on:
According to a recent study by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University, foregoing red meat and dairy just one day a week achieves more greenhouse gas reductions than eating an entire week’s worth of locally sourced foods. That’s because the carbon footprint of food miles is dwarfed by that of food production. In fact, 83 percent of the average U.S.household’s carbon footprint for food consumption comes from production; transportation represents only 11 percent; wholesaling and retailing account for 5 percent. Source: Weber, C.L. and Matthews, H.S. 2008. Food-miles and the relative climate impacts of food choices in the United States. Environmental Science & Technology 42(10):3508–3513.
So, if this matters to you, start a new tradition in your family - pledge to go meat-free one night a week! If you do, let me know about it in the comments section, and how it went over with your family! And - good luck! (If you need some inspiration, check out some of my vegetarian recipes!)