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Mardi Gras Gives Everyone a Big Fat Break Because Carnival Means "So Long" to Meat
Date:2/13/2009

table Stew">Hopi Vegetable Stew.

Meatless Monday, a project of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for a Livable Future, suggests that people can reap big benefits by forgoing meat just one day a week. "It's easier than you think, but the payoff can be huge" says Center Director Dr. Robert Lawrence. "Eating less meat not only helps lower cholesterol and decrease cancer risks, it reduces your carbon footprint and helps conserve fresh water. And plant-based meals cost less money, an added bonus during these economically tough times."

Diets high in meat are tied to increased rates of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and other common chronic preventable ailments. With American children contracting what used to be considered adult-only diseases like diabetes, and millions of overweight kids at risk for high cholesterol and heart disease, reducing meat consumption is preventative medicine of the very best kind - a simple step with many rewards.

At the United Nations Summit on Global Warming in December, meat production was cited as a primary source of greenhouse gas. Meat farming also depletes and pollutes our water supplies. A single pound of beef can take up to 5,000 gallons of fresh water to produce, and waste from factory farms poisons ground water and surface water alike. So going without meat just one day a week can have a big impact on your health and the health of the planet.

All good things to consider as Mardi Gras draws to a close February 24 and millions of people bid "farewell to the flesh."

Find more recipes and great ideas about reducing meat in your diet all year long at meatlessmonday.com.

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