Los Angeles signs up to Meatless Monday
In August this year, the Stockholm Water Institute postulated in its fascinating report that global food shortages could perceivably result in a world where a vegetable-based diet would be the norm.
The reason for this is less to do with changing habits, and more to do with scarcity – there simply will not be enough meat to match current demands, the study, Feeding a Thirsty World, noted.
At present, humans receive about 20 per cent of their protein from animal-based products, but over the next 40 years it will slowly dwindle to five per cent. This is because by 2050, there is expected to be two billion extra people on the planet, taking the global population up to nine billion. Something has to give and it is going to have to be meat.
Naturally, food sustainability is a key area of policy for most nations, as well as for non-profit organisations keen to address this pressing issue. One scheme that has grown in popularity is the international campaign Meatless Monday, which was set up by the initiative The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The idea is rather simple – to go meatless once a week. Not only does it help the planet become more “food efficient”, it also makes for a healthier world – it reduces the risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, diabetes and obesity.
Los Angeles is attempting to set the standard when it comes to Meatless Monday, as its council has just passed a motion for the state to embrace this change. It is the first major city in the world to sign up wholeheartedly to the campaign and councillors are keen for residents to join the food revolution.
“The small changes we make every day can have a tremendous impact,” explained Ed Reyes, one of the councillors. “That’s why this Meatless Monday resolution is important. Together we can better our health, the animals and the environment, one plate at a time.”
In recent times, Los Angeles has been exploring ways of fostering an environment where people in the city have a better engagement with healthier food, moving away from the prevalent fast food culture that is so embedded in the US.
One proposal is for there to be a blanket ban on the development of new fast food establishments in certain parts of the city, complemented by more investment in “better food jobs”. It’ll take time, but in the long-term, Los Angeles envisages that a healthier way of life will become part of its very fabric.
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