Friday, July 8, 2011

Are we headed for ‘Meatless Monday’?

Ask Ida

Dear Ida B. Green,

I was just in Aspen and they have Meatless Monday menus in all their restaurants. Do you think our valley is far behind?

Signed, Beefy

Dear Beefy,

There are at least 20 restaurants and institutions in Aspen offering vegetarian choices each Monday—including their local coronary rehab unit and public school system. This community- wide effort is the latest feather in Aspen's "fitness capital" cap. Of course, as any Catholic or 1960s school child knows, cutting meat out one day a week is only good for you if you don't resort to fish sticks and tater tots as the substitute.

The environmental benefits, however, are a constant. Meat is the least energy-efficient food on the planet. Beef requires 35 calories of energy to produce just 1 calorie of meat and thirsty cows drink 40 times as much water per pound than it takes to produce one pound of potatoes. (Cutting out just 2-4 pounds of meat a year saves as much water as not showering every day for a year.) And the specifics of the land, water, and air pollution accumulating from animal waste would take you right off your feed.

Save an artery. Save some money. Save the planet. Not bad for a Monday.

Keep it Green,


—Elizabeth Jeffrey

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