Meatless Mondays are meant to help people reduce their meat intake. It helps those participating feel like they don’t have to make sudden, drastic changes to their diet. It’s beneficial for people’s health, the animals, and the environment. In fact, two years ago a study found that in just five years, the Meatless Monday program has reduced emissions equivalent to driving 1.4 billion miles. The program has been so successful that more and more institutions are embracing it. Nine months ago, Mayor de Blasio announced that all NYC schools will be participating in Meatless Mondays. Now, the New York City Department of Corrections (DOC) is doing the same.

Starting Monday, December 2nd, the DOC’s Monday menus will feature a meatless breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in hopes of raising awareness of the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet. DOC Commissioner Cynthia Brann told One Green Planet: “Promoting the wellbeing of those in our custody is a core component of our mission, and we take pride in introducing a healthier lifestyle to all. Our regular menu not only exceeds many FDA standards, but by joining the Meatless Mondays initiative we are providing more nutritious options once a week. We are also proud to be encouraging a healthier planet with less of a carbon footprint. Our hope is that individuals leave our custody more mindful of the benefits of a reduced meat diet, both for themselves and for the planet.”

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The new menus are not just for those in custody, but for staff members as well. The menu includes meals like fresh fruit, cereals, and whole wheat bread for breakfast; vegetarian chili, brown rice, and steamed veggies for lunch; and veggie burgers, mashed potatoes, and salad for dinner.

Meatless meal

Image Source: Courtesy of New York City Department of Corrections

Glenn O’Connor, Senior Executive Director of Nutritional Services at DOC says: “Going meatless once a week can reduce a person’s risk of chronic, preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can also help reduce our carbon footprint and save precious [natural] resources like fossil fuels and fresh water.”

To learn more about the environmental benefits of eating plant-based, check out We Can Save the Planet With Plant-Based Food, Report Backed by United Nations Urges People to Eat Plant-Based to Stop Climate Change, and 5 Ways Eating More Plant-Based Foods Benefits the Environment.

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If you want to know more about the health benefits of plant-based foods, see Plant-Based Diet Linked to Cognitive Health, How a Plant-Based Diet Rejuvenates the Brain, and Study Finds Plant-Based is The Way to Go for Healthy Cholesterol.

We also highly recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 15,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!

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