What is Meatless Monday?

I thought Meatless Monday was just a recent campaign started to encourage us to eat healthier, while also helping out the environment. I didn't realize that Meatless Mondays as been around since the early 1900s.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encouraged families to reduce their meat (and wheat) intake to help the war effort. The slogans, "Meatless Mondays" and Wheatless Wednesdays" were started to convince Americans that conserving these "Foods Will Win the War" and support not only our U.S. troops but also feed populations in Europe with our rations.

The FDA listed out plans that Americans could follow similar to below:

Sunday - One Meal Wheatless & One Meal Meatless
Monday - All Meals Wheatless & One Meal Meatless
Tuesday - All Meals Meatless & One Meal Wheatless
Wednesday - All Meals Wheatless & One Meal Meatless
Thursday - One Meal Wheatless & One Meal Meatless
Friday - One Meal Wheatless & One Meal Meatless
Saturday - All Meals Porkless, One Meal Wheatless & One Meal Meatless.

 Meatless Mondays weren't gone for long and returned once again with World War II, but died off and didn't make an eruption into our lives again till until almost 60 years later with a public health awareness program.

Then, in April 2009, Meatless Monday launched again - this time most notably - with information noting the effects meat consumption has on climate change. This is when Meatless Mondays became an international program spawning Meatless Mondays again in the United States and Meat-free Mondays in the U.K, with Sir Paul McCartney, along with his daughters Stella and Mary, launched Support Meat-free Monday website, recipes, videos and more. This plan has also caught in Australia, Belgium, Bangkok and Israel.

So, why not stopping eating meat one day a week?

It can't hurt you - if anything it can decrease your risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes - all while saving the environment ... one burger at a time.

NewsKatherine Peterson