A case for less meat
It’s been about two years since I stopped eating meat. Though I haven’t gone full vegan – I still eat eggs, dairy and a little fish; I can honestly say that I don’t miss meat at all. I really thought I would, but when it came down to it, I realize that what I really enjoy about a meaty meal, are the seasonings and sauces that accompany the meat, not the meat itself.
For me, choosing a more plant based lifestyle wasn’t really about animal cruelty, though I do believe that animals should be treated well and respected even if they are being raised for food. My choice had more to do with the environment and my overall long term health.
When I consider the land that is used to graze and grow food for animals, and if it were used instead to plant trees or food for humans, I think we wouldn’t have the climate and hunger issues we currently see in the world. This is an area where I fee like my choice can actually make a difference. A recent study in the Journal Science concluded that:
“A vegan diet is probably the single biggest way to reduce your impact on planet Earth, not just greenhouse gases, but global acidification, eutrophication, land use and water use. It is far bigger than cutting down on your flights or buying an electric car, as these only cut greenhouse gas emissions.”
So, it’s an area where I feel like I can make a difference, and not only that – it also benefits my health and my pocket book.
No matter where you stand on the issue, there are lots of great reasons to eat less meat.
For one thing, it’s a whole lot cheaper. A can of beans costs about $1.29 to about $10 for a pound of chicken. That’s huge savings when multiplied out for a family over the week.
It’s also great for our body to take a break from the meat from time to time.
Consuming less meat means:
- reduced intake of saturated fat and cholesterol
- lower overall caloric intake (usually …)
- Increased intake of fibre, vitamins and minerals
- reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and certain cancers.
Even replacing one or two meals a week can make a big difference.
There are oodles of good vegan resources out there to help you get started eating more plant based. Forks over Knives, Thug Kitchen and Oh She Glows are some of my favourite places to look for recipe inspiration.
A while back, we had dinner at a restaurant and the special was Jackfruit Stirfry. I’d never heard of jackfruit, but the server said is was a plant based alternative to chicken.
It might have been the best plant based meal I ever had at a restaurant. The shredded flesh of this melon-like fruit took on the flavours of the stir fry so beautifully. It felt like I was eating off the regular menu, not choosing the vegetarian option.
So, I looked into this jackfruit. It’s a nutritional powerhouse. Full of B vitamins, calcium and magnesium and a great source of fibre. It’s a clean, whole food – so much better for you than the soy based meat alternatives we often see.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get it locally – until NOW!
I found it this week at our local supermarket, and I might have done a little dance of joy right there in the store 😉
And I had to share my excitement by preparing a jackfruit dish on What’s for Dinner Wednesday. We made a Jackfruit Slawpy Joe and it was amazing! I heated the jackfruit in homemade barbeque sauce, topped it with coleslaw and served it with homemade “quickles“, steamed cauliflower and fresh tomatoes. You can see it all come together in the video below.
What was the family’s verdict – well hit and miss. The super picky teenager loved it, as did the toddler. The middle two kids, not so much. Hubby and I of course enjoyed every bite!