We all know that eating too much meat can be bad for our health but did you know that it is also harmful to our environment? Meat consumption has quadrupled in the last 50 years and it is taking a toll on the earth. Animal waste from factory farms is polluting waterways. Livestock produce a tremendous amount of greenhouse gas. Raising livestock requires much more water than raising vegetables. The deforestation of tropical areas is a result of more land needed for grain to feed livestock and is contributing to global warming and soil erosion.
Don’t worry; you don’t have to become a vegan to make a difference! Just reduce your consumption. Only eat meat once a day or try cutting out meat all together on certain days. Sir Paul McCartney is urging people to have meat-free Mondays. In dishes like soups and casseroles that call for meat, use only half or two thirds of the meat it calls for. The flavor will still be there. Make sure your meals include plenty of vegetables and grain based side dishes to fill up on. When you do choose meat, look for local, grass-fed, organic, and sustainably raised options, which usually have less of an environmental impact.
There are plenty of cookbooks to choose from if you are looking for a menu with less meat. Here are a few that seem to be pretty popular: Almost Meatless, The Flexitarian Diet, and Spice Up Your Life: The Flexitarian Way.
My favorite meatless meal recipe right now is Mushroom and Pesto Pizza.
1 unbaked pizza crust
¾ cup (approx.) pesto
1 cup (approx.) sliced mushrooms
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbs. butter
8 oz. provolone
¼ cup Parmesan
Sauté mushrooms and onions in butter until slightly browned. Spread pesto over unbaked pizza crust. Top with sautéed mushrooms and onions. Top pizza with cheeses and bake at 500 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes.
Hop over to my blog The Crunchy Mamacita where you’ll find my pizza crust recipe and a link for the most delicious pesto recipe.
Thanks for reading!