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Diet Diva

Get advice on healthy eating, nutrition, and weight loss from expert dietitian Tara Gidus. 

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School Goes Meatless Monday

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Have you ever tried to go "meatless" for one day? How about one day every week? The 80,000 students in the Baltimore Public Schools will have a chance to go meatless every Monday. Baltimore is the first (and hopefully not last) school district to implement this meatless plan. I hope the kids decide to make the entire day meatless, not just lunch.

The school system is also working with farmers to provide locally-grown produce. It has also begun a teaching farm and is developing building resources to establish gardens at each of the 200 schools in the Baltimore public school system.

Benefits of going meatless are great. Think about the effect on the environment. If we all went meatless just once per week:
  • Our greenhouse gas emission reductions equal US switching from a car with average fuel efficiency (that's about 22 mpg for the entire fleet) to a high efficiency car such as the Toyota Prius (50 mpg).
  • We will save about 1 ton of water, enough to fill up the bathtub 22 times per week
  • If everyone in the US did this, we'd collectively save about 12 billion gallons of gasoline
You can learn more about the benefits to the environment in the book, Go Green Get Lean by Kate Geagan, RD.

The health of these children will also improve as they reduce the animal protein in their diet and learn healthy substitutions for that meat. If a vegetarian diet is not for you, that is OK! Just reducing our meat intake (but not eliminating) can benefit the heart and reduce risk of certain cancers. Check out The Flexitarian Diet by Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD. This book shows how to reduce but not eliminate meat from the diet. Great recipes, too!
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About the Author


MS, RD, CSSD, LD/N

Tara Gidus is a nationally recognized expert and spokesperson on nutrition and fitness.

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