By Trystan L. Bass
Most Americans love a burger, but we also know there can be too much of a good thing. Studies continually point out that eating a lot of meat leads to heart disease and cancer. Plus, worldwide livestock farming creates 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions -- that's a little bit more than the world's transportation emissions. But it's pretty easy to improve our health and the planet's and still enjoy our food.
The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health suggests we go meatless on Mondays. Just one day a week without meat can reduce your consumption of saturated fat by 15% and reduce your chances of heart disease. Scientists estimate that if every American lowered meat consumption by just 20%, it would lower greenhouse gasses as much as if everyone in the country switched to driving Toyota Priuses (and think how much cheaper and easier eating less meat is!).
The Meatless Monday website is chock full of tasty recipes and tips for making healthy meals based around vegetables and grains. You'll find tons more recipes online to suit every palate and price range. Some wonderful ethnic foods (even at restaurants) are often vegetarian too. For example, consider Italian pastas heavy on tomato sauces and veggies or spicy Indian curries served over rice.
An extra bonus is that cooking with meat less often saves you money. Fresh, canned, and frozen vegetables are almost always less expensive than meat at the grocery store. Grains, rice, and pasta are affordable, especially when bought in bulk.
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