March is only THREE days away, which means that there is only three more days until my favorite month. My birthday is in March, so that’s definitely a reason to be excited, but another is spring! I love everything about spring- weather, clothes, television- you name it, but spring also brings about spring cleaning and Easter. This year I’ve decided to take them kind of hand in hand and choose something to give up for Lent that is going to challenge my habits and help to better my body (and the earth, too). I’m going to give up red meat!
Some examples of red meat are beef, pork, and lamb. I’m not going to deny the value of meats, because they do in fact have vitamins and minerals the body needs, but too much red meat can increase your risk of certain health issues, such as various kinds of cancer.
I didn’t care at first, either. I love hot dogs and hamburgers with a passion (a moment of beautiful silence for Shake Shack), however I recently learned how much energy is used to produce meat, specifically red meat, and was shocked at the negative impact my burger eating self was having! I consider myself a bit of a tree hugger, so this really made me disappointed and I wanted to figure out exactly what my impact was and how I could lessen it. Luckily, Lent was just around the corner, which is a great way to sneak in some goals for being green.
Now onto the facts: to make just one quarter pound hamburger, it takes 52.8 gallons of water. 52.8 GALLONS on a world where there are so many people and places without it. According to npr.org, Americans eat well over a hundred pounds of meat per year- and I haven’t even mentioned the amount of food or land that meat production uses, either.
There is a lot of discussion about meat production and if it’s even healthy to be eating the meats we do- just check Pinterest or go online and chances are you’ll see something come up. While I love making vegetarian and vegan meals, it’d be really hard for me to say that we shouldn’t eat meat or that I don’t want to. If you don’t eat meat, more power to you because you’re probably making a bigger difference than we realize! I do hope that this period of not eating red meat gets me in the kitchen even more and expands my pallet and maybe to see or feel some sort of change in my body. Who knows, maybe I won’t even miss it, but my goal for this Lent period is really to challenge myself (we got a new In-N-Out Burger, so it may get hard, people) while giving my body a break from the red meat and try new things. On a larger scale, I hope that by not buying and eating any red meat, I save our planet some grief. In a way, my spring cleaning is starting with my body this year.
Let me know what you love about spring or what you’re giving up for Lent in the comments and be sure to subscribe at the bottom of the page!