World Meat Free Day 2015
On Monday 15th June 2015 we celebrated World Meat Free Day - the culmination of a global campaign trying to get people around the world to change their diet for just one day. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the benefits of eating less meat and show how going veggie can result in fairer food systems and better results for our planet.
Overconsumption of meat has a massive impact on human health, animal welfare and the natural environment. In the UK, our meat consumption is more than double the global average – a total of 84.2kg per person per year – and is growing every year.
Livestock production accounts for 14.5% of the world’s total emissions. If population growth and current agricultural practices continue at the same rate, meat production will double by the year 2050, reaching a total of 200 million tonnes.
This will, of course, put enormous strain on the Earth’s resources. Current problems including water scarcity, climate change, deforestation and loss of biodiversity, will multiply and become more acute as livestock farming is increased. The knock-on effects are set to affect human development and welfare on a catastrophic scale.
What difference will not eating meat make for one day?
If World Meat Free Day was supported by 10 million people swapping the meat in just one of their meals for a plant-based protein, the impact would be extraordinary.
- Reduce CO2 emissions equivalent to driving around the world 2,438 times
- Save 885 million calories and 48 tonnes of saturated fat
- Save up 5,700 acres of land – the equivalent of 89,000 tennis courts
- Reduce water usage by 13 million tonnes – equivalent to 5,000 Olympic swimming pools
For more staggering statistics, have a look at the World Meat Free Website – especially this page on why to get involved.
FoodCycle is supporting World Meat Free Day 2015 because we believe that meals should not have to contain meat in order to be healthy, tasty and exciting… but you may be surprised to know that all of our food is 100% meat free – always has been, always will be!
Why are all FoodCycle meals meat-free?
All FoodCycle meals across our Hubs and community café are vegetarian - no fish, no poultry and no meat. This is for two reasons:
Firstly, there are huge practical and legal hurdles to obtaining and serving meat and fish – we simply wouldn’t be able to access meat in the way we can easily access fresh fruit and vegetables. Our volunteers collect surplus food from retailers on food, cycle trailers, bus or car. Whilst there are no barriers to doing this with fruit, vegetables, bread and non-perishable goods, we’d need refrigerated vans in order to transport meat and fish. The cost of these vans would be huge across all of our projects!
But secondly, and more importantly, we want our meals to be as healthy and nutritious as possible. We hope to promote healthy eating by showing how meat-free food can be just as delicious as meals with meat or fish – if not more so! Our meals use beans, lentils, tofu, soya, cheese, chickpeas and various other protein-rich foods instead of meat, demonstrating that vegetarian food need not compromise on taste and nutritional content.
“FoodCycle shows us what we can do with all sorts of food, it’s all vegetarian and it gives you ideas of what you can put in sauces and herbs to make it less boring. It’s changed my eating habits, it shows you can make a meal without meat and I don’t think a lot of people know how to cook from scratch.” - Linda, FoodCycle guest in Clacton-on-Sea
Our healthy meat-free meals have had a positive impact in terms of behaviour change: 73% of FoodCycle service users eat more fruit and veg at home after coming to a FoodCycle meal. Many of our guests also report that eating meat-free meals at FoodCycle has given them the confidence to cook without meat at home – saving them money and often making sure their families get a healthier meal.
Looking for a delicious local catering service that is affordable, meat-free and sustainable? Look no further: FoodCycle now offers catering! All revenue from this is used to help sustain our Community Cafe, where we support volunteers to gain the skills and confidence needed to gain employment in the catering and hospitality industry.
Over the last six years we’ve created lots of delicious meat-free meals that are packed with taste as well as nutrition! Why not give some of our recipes a go for World Meat Free Day 2015?
- Roasted squash with spiced chickpeas
- Zesty puy lentil salad
- Wintery veg stew with onion & thyme gravy
- Spiced runner bean chutney
- Roasted stuffed onions