The Environmental Working Group has asked Americans to go meatless once per week and “Take the pledge to eat less and greener meat!” Chef Mario Batali and other celebrities have gone on board to help EWG enlist 100,000 people who will sign the pledge, commit to eating a more “veg centric” diet, and “build awareness” of how much our food choices impact the planet.
I personally am not about to take that pledge though EWG’s slogan “Reduce your impact, improve your health” sounds like a “win/win.” EWG tells us, for example, that Americans who skip meat and cheese just one day a week — such as with a “Meatless Monday” – can cut carbon emissions equal to taking 7.6 million cars off the road. And it promises that reducing meat consumption will lower our risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke and cancer.
Sadly, EWG’s proposal will do very little for the environment. Worse, it will encourage people to feel “feel good” about their growing green consciousness while distracting them from exploring and adopting genuine, sustainable solutions. While it is certainly good that EWG recommends “greener” meat and not just “less meat” or even “no meat,” the catchy “Meatless Monday” slogan perpetuates the myth that meat is evil and that plant-based diets are the key to personal and planetary health. [Read more]