This month, Notre Dame Food Services is introducing its own take on Meatless Monday , a national grassroots initiative aimed at reducing meat consumption by 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of the planet.
“Eating less meat means a reduced ecological footprint as well as better health,” explained Myles Robertson in the Office of Sustainability. “Vegetarianism isn’t an all-or-nothing thing. When we skip the meat on Mondays (or any other day), we’re cutting back on fat and cholesterol plus the huge amounts of water, chemical fertilizers, and land used to raise animals.”
While Mondays won’t be meat-free, many classic favorites will have a meatless twist to them. “The movement aims to offer a wider range of meatless options,” said Lisa Wenzel, Assistant Director of Catering and Special Events at ND Food Services. “We hope this will give students exposure to both new foods and new ideas.”
Enthusiastic students have created a Meatless Monday video to celebrate ND’s movement, which has been met with great approval around campus. With new options including vegetarian sliders, portobello fajitas, goat cheese and asparagus pasta, quinoa-rice corn cakes, and Indian stew, it’s no wonder.
Notre Dame isn’t alone in this campaign. Our neighbor to the south, Indiana University South Bend, began a Meatless Monday initiative this month as well. Some notable celebrities have also taken up the cause. Hip-hop magnate Russell Simmons, author and journalist Michael Pollan, chef Giada De Laurentiis, and even big time Hollywood movie producer and director James Cameron have publicly shown support for the Monday campaign.