Why Meatless Mondays?

Here in Edmonton, people may ask “why meatless Monday when we live in Alberta, the province known for its beef?”  But what many people do not realize is that Alberta is also one of the biggest producers and exporters of pulses, which are the edible seeds of legumes and include dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas.  Pulses are a source of plant-based protein, less expensive than meat, packed with nutrients, and have a low environmental impact.

Raising animals for food requires a lot of land, fossil fuel, water, and food.  If more people choose to eat less meat and increase their intake of plant-based proteins, it means less of a draw on these resources which can have a significant impact on the health of the environment.

Choosing plant-based proteins instead of animal proteins along with more whole grains and veggies will mean having a diet that is rich in fibre, vitamins and other nutrients.

Ready to join the movement? Start small by substituting plant-based proteins for meat in your favourite recipes such as lasagna, soup or pasta. It’s an easy place to start as many of these recipes will work with a simple swap of meat alternatives in place of meat.

  • Green lentils – great as a ground-beef substitute
  • Beans, chickpeas, and peas – perfect for casseroles, soups or salads
  • Tofu – excellent in stir fries and with rice noodles

If you are interested in decreasing your meat consumption, stay tuned to this monthly series. We will provide you with practical tips, meatless meal ideas and recipes, research and more.

 

By Allison Easton, Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist