BEDFORD, N.Y. -- With over 300 households signed on and a selection of popular local businesses as partners, Bedford 2020’s Meatless Monday program is sweeping Bedford and beyond.
The Meatless Monday platform was selected to raise awareness about the connection between food choice and carbon footprint. A plant-based diet has a smaller carbon footprint than a meat intensive one, and cutting out meat for even one day a week can have a great impact on the planet.
“I am astonished by the amount of resources a pound of beef sucks up—between the water and feed, it's just an inefficient protein,” said Peter Menzeis, owner of Reading Room in Katonah, citing his original inspiration to practice Meatless Monday.
So far, over 300 area households have pledged to cut out meat once a week. Participants enjoy many perks, from newsletters, documentary screenings, a vegetarian wine pairing dinner and more. Partners such as Northern Westchester Hospital are using the campaign to promote the health benefits of a plant-based diet, and dozens of local restaurant partners have enjoyed promoting the campaign to highlight their meatless dishes.
“We have a ‘Bean of the Week’ promotion which we really push,” said Nancy Roper, owner of New Mexican restaurant TRUCK. “Every week we feature a different bean because they’re full of protein, and they're really good for you. We want people to eat more beans!”
Some partners emphasized that their most popular dishes were meatless to begin with.
“We practice Meatless Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…every day of the week, because we offer many vegetarian and vegan dishes every day,” said Leslie Lampert, owner of Ladle of Love. “Fan favorites include quinoa vegetarian chili, vegan potato leek soup and curry vegetable stew.”
This campaign is the first community-wide Meatless Monday program where an organization is reaching out to an entire town to participate. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School for Public Health Center for a Livable Future is conducting a survey of Bedford 2020’s participants to research the impact of this unique campaign.
Bedford 2020’s ultimate goal is to decrease the town’s carbon footprint. Eating less meat, and eating locally and sustainably raised produce, meat and seafood are part of this strategy. The 12-week Meatless Monday campaign is a fun, easy way to help people start to make this connection between planet and plate. Take the pledge today at Bedford2020.org/Meatless-Mondays .