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The History of Meatless Monday

Over the past ten years, Meatless Monday has gained momentum as a way to promote the benefits of reducing our meat consumption. But I’ll bet you didn’t know that the history of Meatless Monday stretches back almost 100 years, to 1917. It seems that in order to aid the war effort, the government proclaimed that Meatless Monday would help win the war. And we have Herbert Hoover to thank for Meatless Mondays.

Herbert Hoover later became President, but he was head of the US Food Administration when declared that “Food will win the War”. Hoover was born into a Quaker family. Quakers respect the world around them and tend to use fresh produce, local suppliers, and look for organic and fair trade sources; all of which promotes healthy eating.

Fast forward about 80 years. Meatless Monday was revived in 2003 by a former ad man turned health advocate, Sid Lerner, in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future. Meatless Monday was reintroduced as a public health awareness campaign to fight the prevalence of preventable illnesses associated with excessive meat consumption.

The Meatless Monday program is now global. Chefs of Rock Star status like Mario Batali, Jamie Oliver, Michael Symon and Cat Cora have all endorsed it. Paul McCartney, a long time vegetarian, has been instrumental in advocating the benefits to the UK. In 2011, the media reported that Meatless Monday was the top food trend. Schools and hospitals have incorporated the practice into their weekly schedule. Needless to say, Meatless Monday has an army of followers and is here to stay. There is even a Twitter account,@MeatlessMonday. Hoover never anticipated that!

So don’t fight it – try NutBurg’s Original or Holy Mole meatless burger for your next Meatless Monday. They’re perfect for lunch or dinner.

– James West,
Mr. NutBurg