Meatless Monday is an international movement to help people reduce their meat consumption by 15%.
On average, Americans consume 8 ounces of meat per day – 45% more than the USDA recommends. Going meatless one day a week can reduce the risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help limit people’s carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.
For more information on the benefits of reducing meat consumption along with delicious meatless recipes and other resources visit MeatlessMonday.com. And be sure to sign up for our weekly Eater’s Digest newsletter with featured recipes and news.
Meatless Monday has been growing rapidly around the world and can now be found in 24 countries. Individuals, celebrities, media, schools, workplaces, restaurants and whole communities join together to cut out meat once a week for their personal health and the health of the planet. For a complete roster of participants visit MeatlessMonday.com.
Meatless Monday Restaurants Coast to Coast
From Scandinavian meat-free dishes in New York City to exotic Indian cuisine in St. Louis to modern American vegetarian delicacies in Seattle, the list of restaurants offering creative and delicious out of the ordinary’meatless and vegan meals is on the increase.
Restaurateurs and chefs around the country are embracing the healthful eating trend and meeting the demand for new and flavorful menu choices by cooking with more exotic fruits and vegetables, different grains, beans and other legumes.
At Swoon Kitchenbar in Hudson, New York, chef/owner Jeff Gimmel says Meatless Monday is good for business. His meatless options have become so popular that they have been added to the regular menu. “We’ve stuck with doing Meatless Monday for three years because it continues to be well received,” said chef Gimmel.
The benefits of restaurants doing Meatless Monday range from increased business on a typically slow Monday to tapping into new crowds of vegetable-loving patrons. By simply highlighting existing vegetarian options and providing nominal discounts on Meatless Monday, restaurants reap the rewards of serving healthful options.
In support of restaurateurs who embrace the health mission of going meatless on Mondays, following are notable, coast-to-coast call outs.
Smörgås Chef, a full-service café located at the Scandinavia House Cultural Center in New York City, launched their first Meatless Monday menu in March. The $35 three-course, prix fixe dinner was based on the New Nordic Cuisine that uses local, sustainable, and all-natural ingredients.
At Almond NYC and Almond Bridgehampton, in Long Island’s famed Hamptons, executive chef Jason Weiner features prix fixe Meatless Monday menus each week at. “It’s expanding our clientele, challenging our cooks, and supporting our local growers. Put simply—Meatless Mondays is win, win, win.”
St. Louis, Missouri’s Rasoi consistently garners rave reviews as a neighborhood gem. This exotic “fit for foodies” eatery raises their commitment to wellbeing saying their Meatless Monday menu supports healthier people and a healthier planet. With familiar items like vegetable samosas, mulligatawny soup, aloo gobi, baingan bharta and tandoori mushrooms consistently touted as excellent, new and loyal patrons alike enjoy the many delicious flavors of India found on their menu week after week.
Chef David Murff and the culinary team at Jimmy’s on Broadway in Seattle joined the Meatless Monday movement as a New Year’s resolution to add healthier menu choices, one Monday at a time. Located in the trendy Capitol Hill neighborhood, chef Murff was excited about creating new and unique modern American vegetarian options using local, fresh ingredients that can be paired with one of their 22 flavorful draft beers on tap or one of Washington’s fine, local wines.
Oprah Offers Meatless Monday at Harpo Studios
Oprah Winfrey teamed up with Meatless Monday supporters Michael Pollan and Kathy Freston to encourage viewers to think about the food on their plates. On her Vegan Challenge episode in 2011, Oprah and 378 of her staff members highlighted the positive effects of a plant-based diet, and the wide array of food options available. Following the team’s experience, Oprah decided that her Harpo Studios café would offer a Meatless Monday option every week.
By enthusiastically instituting Meatless Mondays at Harpo Studios, Oprah has introduced the campaign and more conscious eating to millions of American households. “You have to decide what’s right for you and for your family,” she shared on air. “Half the battle is just being aware of where your food comes from and how it makes you feel.”
LA Casts Meatless Monday in Healthy Leading Role
California’s city of A-list celebrities and lux-living now has another claim to fame. On Friday, October 24th, 2012, Los Angeles became the largest city in the U.S. to sign a Meatless Monday resolution. The official declaration, unanimously approved by LA’s City Council, announces that the city is embracing Meatless Mondays for the health of its citizens and the planet.
Councilwoman Jan Perry, who introduced the motion with Councilman Ed Reyes, noted that high-meat diets have been linked to health issues like heart disease and some cancers.
Many restaurants in the Los Angeles area have already joined the Meatless Monday movement, but Reyes hopes that this weekly reminder for citizens to choose nutritious, environmentally-sustainable options can lead to larger change.
The resolution followed LA’s adoption of a “good food” agenda, which aims to support local, sustainable food choices, introduce healthier food options and reduce the growing obesity epidemic in South Los Angeles. LA’s Meatless Monday resolution follows other cities across the U.S., including Washington, D.C., San Francisco, CA and Raleigh-Durham, NC.
And LA went a step further in 2013: In an effort to promote healthy meal choices at school, the southern California school system – one of the largest in the U.S. – started serving upwards of 650,000 nutritious, meat-free items for both breakfast and lunch on Mondays.
Teen Chefs’ Healthy Dishes Earn Scholarships in Nationwide C-CAP Meatless Monday Recipe Contest
Thousands of Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) high-school seniors became head chefs in their classroom for a chance to win a scholarship and have their healthy, meatless recipe featured on the menu at Canyon Ranch, a destination spa in Tuscon, Arizona.
C-CAP has partnered with The Monday Campaigns for the C-CAP/Meatless Monday Recipe Contest to encourage delicious and healthy eating among students and families. In 2012, students worked with their culinary arts teachers to create an original meatless entree that explored new fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. In 2013, students were challenged to come up with unique meatless chili recipes.
Each C-CAP school was then invited to submit its strongest Meatless Monday dish, along with the recipe and a photo. Finalists were judged by a distinguished panel of Meatless Monday experts, including Flexiatrian Diet author Dawn Jackson Blatner; Laurie David and Kristen Uhrenholdt, co-authors of The Family Dinner; weekly Meatless Monday columnist and Cooking Channel host Ellie Krieger, MeatlessMonday.com food editor Joey Lee; Hillary Mickle, founder of FOODILY, Ron Taylor, executive chef of Brand Aromatics, and Scott Uehlein, corporate chef of Canyon Ranch.
In 2012, first prize and a $5,000 scholarship was awarded to Nicole Caceres of John Marshall High School in Los Angeles for her colorful and nutritious Black Bean Mole Stew. In 2013, another John Marshall High School student took top honors. This time Lucila Flores won first prize for her Kung Pao Chili.
The first prize winners and their teachers were also awarded a Canyon Ranch all-inclusive stay, during which the students experience healthy-cooking practices first-hand from Corporate Chef Scott Uehlein.
Meatless Monday Goes Globetrotting With New International Supporters
Countries around the world are embracing Meatless Monday: from Sweden’s award-winning Köttfri Måndag initiative to the government-supported Luntiang Lunes campaign in the Philippines, non-profits, restaurants, schools and citizens in no less than 24 countries are coming together to cut meat consumption worldwide.
Most recently, Israel and Australia launched local Meatless Monday campaigns to help improve the health of their countries.
Meatless Monday Awareness is on the Rise
A recent FGI* online survey showed that 43% of Americans are aware of Meatless Monday, almost double the number aware back in 2009.This growth was achieved without spending a dime in media – it’s all through grassroots viral dissemination and partici- pation of key influencers and organizations like Mario Batali, Sodexo and thousands of schools, restaurants, companies and media.
Meatless Monday is Influencing Consumption
FGI found that 35.8% of those aware said that the campaign had influenced their decision to cut back on meat and 36.4% said it had led them to incorporate more meatless meals the rest of the week. Overall this group reported impressive increases in consumption of a range of healthy foods:
Meatless Monday is influencing purchasing
Sodexo launched Meatless Monday across all divisions in 2011, including 6,000 schools, corporations, hospitals and government facilities. Of those participating in the program, 49% reported an increase in purchasing of vegetables and 30% reported a decrease in purchases of meat.**
*FGI Research online panel of 1000 18+ adults. Proportions/Means tested at 95% confidence level +/- 3%.
**Research by Johns Hopkins’ Center for a Livable Future