If you didn’t already know, this week (23rd-29th March) is meat free week. If you eat meat a lot and you’re wondering what this is all about then it might interest you to read the many benefits of cutting down your meat consumption.
I cut down on eating meat a lot a few months ago when I saw an article which exposed a few things about meat production that most people are unaware of from the impacts the volume of it has on the environment, to the treatment of the animals and what too much processed meat does to our health. I then did a bit more research, and found some things which shocked me. One of the things that really made me vom was that a lot of the chickens we get from supermarkets are injected with FAT and water to make them grow more quickly to create a higher volume of cheap ‘product’ to be sold. This means they grow sooo fast their legs are unable to support them so they collapse and die at six weeks old. By the time they’re on our shelves they have been so modified that it’s not the most ethical or appetising way to eat.
Going meat free for just one week is a good way to get more fruit and veggies into your diet and a great opportunity to monitor what you’re eating in general (it’s nearly bikini season FYI, yeah that came around quick). As I said I have cut down on the meat I eat a lot therefore I still do eat meat about 20/30% of the time and I am now more mindful of the types of meat I eat. It’s good to educate yourself on where your meat is coming from (there’s loads of info on this on the meat free week website) and to steer clear of very cheap meat.
When I cut down on meat I actually barely missed it, which surprised me as I have always regularly eaten meat. I think a lot of households today, rely on meat as their main staple for mealtimes which tends to make meal planning and cooking quicker and easier as you don’t have to think about it as much. Week day meals tend to be lasagne, chicken with veg, shepherd’s pie etc which are all simple, traditional dishes but this is why people are eating such high volumes of meat. When you take that meat away you have to think harder about what will be the ‘star’ of the dish and you really can still create satisfying, delicious meals. For example, vegetable lasagne, vegetable stir fry, vegetable curry and soo many more you won’t have even thought of. If you’re creative with the way you cook and the ingredients you use, you won’t miss the meat.
Cutting down on meat is beneficial for loads of reasons to do with our health, the environment and the animals themselves. Excessive meat consumption is becoming unsustainable and we are eating wayyy more than the recommended amount which is considered healthy, not to mention that meat production levels are set to double by 2020 meaning technically we’ll be eating even more meat.
Anyway, that’s my bit said, for loooooads more facts and for yummy recipes head over to the Meat Free Week website where you’ll also find nutritional information and advice on the best ways to eat meat more mindfully in the future. Why not give meat free a go for this week, I can almost guarantee you’ll surprise yourself!