The 18 Percent

8:36 AM

photo credit: Oxfam America

We've been hearing a lot about percentages this year as we lead up to Election Day. The one percentage I don't think we'll hear the candidates discuss is the 18%. Did you know that livestock is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions? And nearly 8% of global human water use goes to grow food for cattle alone. As my boys like to say, "Holy cow!"

I'm not suggesting we start an Occupy Cattle Ranch anytime soon. But if we all made one meatless meal once a week, we can really make an impact on the environment (and on our health and wallets). For example, it takes 6,810 liters of water to produce one 1lb package of ground beef. That's equivalent to my family drinking over 4 1/2 liters of water EVERY DAY for a YEAR!

Less Meat
"Rearing animals for food means a lot more greenhouse gas emissions, more water consumed, and more land required, compared to growing food crops. If we eat a little less meat and a little less dairy we will dramatically reduce the impact of our diets on the environment." 
Some of our favorite meatless meals

Try whipping up a meatless meal at least once a week. We do a Meatless Monday here because all the cool kids are doing it. Here are some of our favorite meatless recipes: Mom's Granola, Monkey Bread French Toast, Vegetable Noodle Stir-Fry with TofuBulgur Veggie Burgers with Lime MayoStuffed Tomatoes with Grilled Corn, and Greek Pasta Salad. We are trying to cut back on how much milk we drink too. For example, we have started using soy milk in our cereal. I know this may not be easy, especially with young children that need the protein and vitamins and allergies, so make sure you consult your doctor.

This post (and my sharing on social media) was inspired by my participation in a compensated program initiated by Women Online/The Mission List to raise awareness about Oxfam America's GROW Method. All commentary and opinions are, of course, my own.

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