- Kira Sehgal
Reducing Meat Consumption
Learn more about how to reduce meat consumption to reduce carbon footprint.
Figuring out how much meat to incorporate into your diet can be extremely challenging. While eating less meat has many benefits such as limiting waste and greenhouse gas emissions, improving your heart health, and limiting your spending, it’s often difficult to come up with a method that will last in the long run. Making this type of change may seem intimidating, but is doable with the right mindset.
Firstly, it’s important to have motivation for your goal of eating less meat. Are you trying to improve your health? Are you trying to decrease your contribution to climate change? Whatever the reason, be sure to remind yourself of the long-term impact of your decisions.
Secondly, understand that eating less meat will start out as a somewhat difficult process. It requires extra thinking and planning ahead to stay on track. However, eventually, your choices will turn into habits and you will develop into a routine you can follow mindlessly and will enjoy!
Start this process slowly by cutting out meat for a day or two a week. Meatless Mondays have become a popular option and provide a great community for those struggling to go cold turkey. Furthermore, it may be helpful to have a friend or partner join this journey with you, as you can share recipes and keep each other accountable. Instead of thinking about the foods you may miss eating regularly or at all, focus on all of the new and delicious meals that may lie ahead. Tofu, tempeh, falafel, and countless other meat substitutes are widely available around the world and may open the door to delicious new meals! Exploring and trying new foods could be the start of an exciting and unexpected positive chapter in your life.
Many meat-eaters have the fear that eating less meat may cause nutrient deficits or leave them feeling hungry shortly after eating. Combat this issue by being intentional about what goes on your plate. High-protein grains such as quinoa, wild rice, couscous make great bases to any dish and can be topped with delicious low-glycemic index foods that take a longer time to digest and leave you satisfied, such as beans, roasted vegetables, lentils, eggs, sweet potatoes, and many more. The possibilities for hearty vegetarian meals are endless.
All in all, lessening your meat consumption is a task that may seem intimidating but has the potential to add delicious flavors to your palette all the while making a serious contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and your health. Easing into this new routine will make it much easier to ingrain a strong new habit into your life, and will help you enjoy the amazing journey ahead. What you eat and where it comes from matters, and what may seem small to you, may have an immense impact on generations to come.