U.S. Dept. of the Interior among 2,000 Sodexo clients offered Meatless Monday

The Meatless Monday campaign just gained America’s protector of natural resources and heritage as one of its latest supporters. The U.S. Department of the Interior is one of Sodexo’s more than 2,000 corporate and government clients, which the food service giant encouraged to adopt its Meatless Monday initiative.

Sodexo announced today that it is all part of the company’s ongoing efforts to boost health and wellness and promote sustainability in the North American communities where it serves as many as 10 million meals a day. The Department of Interior joins several of Sodexo’s well-known clients, such as Toyota and Northern Trust Bank in adopting Meatless Monday.

The non-profit Meatless Monday campaign, which is operated out of New York City, was launched in 2003 with the help of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Center for a Livable Future. The public health campaign was first started simply to reduce America’s saturated fat consumption by 15%, following the recommendations of the Healthy People 2010 report issued by then U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher in 2000.

While reducing potential negative health effects, such as cardiovascular disease, remains a key goal, a few years ago the initiative expanded its focus to environmental impacts of intensive meat production. Those impacts can be quite substantial. Research suggests that it takes 20 times the amount of fossil-fuel energy to produce conventional beef protein than plant-based protein. According to a study out of California, it takes about 2,000 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. That’s almost ten times more than the 220 gallons water needed to produce a pound of tofu.

A Sodexo spokesperson says the Department of Interior reports that, “the population of customers at DOI is very health and environmentally conscience, so that Meatless Monday is a welcome addition to our program.” In a Sodexo news release, Toyota executive Will Nicklas was quoted as saying, “Meatless Monday has been successful here primarily because Sodexo helps our customers understand that it is not at all about becoming vegetarians or even weight loss, it’s about taking easy steps to guard our health and be good stewards of our environment.” Read More >

Pollan Tells Oprah Viewers Why He Goes Meatless on Monday

Oprah.com

Oprah interviewing Pollan during Earth Day episode Courtesy: Oprah.com

Oprah Winfrey celebrated Earth Day by sharing with her viewers tips on how to Go Green and Save Money. During a Skype interview with Michael Pollan, the author of Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food, Pollan suggested to Oprah that one great way to cut your carbon footprint is to eat less meat. He told Oprah, “I’m not talking about going vegetarian, but even one meatless day a week-a meatless Monday, which is what we do in our household- if everybody in America did that, that would be the equivalent of taking 20 million midsize sedans off the road.”

For more reasons why a meatless Monday could help the Earth, check out Meatless Monday’s website. You may also want to take another look at this video.

The Center for a Livable Future provides research and scientific expertise for the national Meatless Monday Campaign.