Monday, September 22, 2014

Meatless Monday: A decision to be made

Happy Monday Ithaca College!

It's now midday Monday, and although you may be feeling sluggish and slow after a busy weekend, you've probably made a handful of decisions already. You've decided what time to get up, what to have for breakfast, whether to answer that question in class this morning...

We are faced with decisions daily. Some end up affecting us in a large way, and some couldn't matter less. The decision of what to eat may seem like something trivial - affecting you no more than how long you will stay full. However, I want to open up a discussion with you about how much your food decisions matter.

Although Meatless Monday is encouraged by myself and the whole Meatless Monday community - it's up to you to listen to the research and make the decision. My inspiration for this blog post comes from a controversy going on in Texas. Some parts of the state are rooting for a meat free day once a week in schools. Texas Ag Commissioner, Todd Staples, on the other hand feels very strongly that this is a bad idea. Who should make the decision about going meatless? In my opinion, students and individuals should be informed of the pros and cons and then make a decision for themselves.

I am a meat eater myself. I have no objection against meat and am actually a strong believer in it's benefits for a well balanced diet. However, I also know the immense benefits, both for your health and for your environment, of cutting back on meat consumption.

What is most compelling about Meatless Monday is that it's a small change that has big results if enough people participate. What is most interesting to me is hearing the motivation and inspiration of why people choose to go meatless one day a week.

Is it because skipping meat one day a week for a whole year is equal to not driving a car for an entire month?

Is it because eating too much meat (especially processed) can lead to heart disease, cancer, and obesity?

Whatever your reasoning may be, there are important lessons to be learned from Meatless Monday. One of them: everything in moderation. You don't have to be a vegetarian. But it is a healthy lifestyle choice to eat in moderation, to be conscious of what you are eating, and to not overeat certain foods, such as meat.

At Ithaca College Dining, we make sure to provide students with meat free and meat options everyday. Although we highlight and emphasize not eating meat on Monday, we still provide some meat options for students to make the choice themselves. Making a lifestyle change is a long, learning process. It is not something that should be forced. We hope to help you learn the facts about going meatless, so that you can make your own choice about what is most healthy for you.

So here's to making meaningful decisions that lead to a more balanced life!
Happy Meatless Monday,

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