I've taken the challenge issued by Dixiebelle from her Eat At Dixiebelle's blog (the mere sight of which will make you hungry, I promise) to make September an Eat Less Meat Month, as well as Fair Trade Chocolate Month.
I'll be honest, I hardly ever eat chocolate, so this part of the challenge won't be a problem at all, although I'll have to be vigilant on the occasional choccy treats the kids may have.
The Eating Less Meat will, however probably live up to the word "challenge". I happen to love legumes, pulses, vegetables and tofu, and would quite happily live on them. My children, however, are another story. The mere sight of anything green on their plates guarantees an instant whingy chorus of "Mu-u-u-u-u-u-m! Do we HAVE to eat the
It's still something I want to do for a huge range of reasons, most of which are already outlined perfectly on Dixiebelle's site, so I won't go into too much detail. Personally, though the main benefits for me and my family are as follows:
Health - I'm determined to put a bit more effort into coaxing my stubborn offspring gently along to a healthier diet, one that includes a much wider range of fruits, vegetables and legumes than they currently tolerate.
Cost - As a single mother who is fully expecting to be fired later today from her most recent part-time job, this one's fairly obvious. As I nearly only ever buy free range, organic meat anyway, it can get pretty costly. Lentils, by comparision, are nearly free!
Environmental issues - Many more of the planet's resources are required to raise livestock for meat than are required for vegetarian alternatives. More information available on Dixiebelle's blog.
Education and awareness of all the above points for my children. I hope they will learn something by this little challenge. They are going to be invited to assist with meal planning, shopping and food preparation, and I'm hoping they'll take a little interest in the "why" of the whole exercise as well. That may be a little hopeful on my part, but it's worth a shot! During the same month we will also be planting our home veggie garden, which will round out the experience for all, I hope. Details of what I'm planting to be found here.
My next step is to mealplan my first week, which I'm hoping to do after work today (unless I do actually get fired, in which case I'll be too busy drowning my sorrows in a vat of wine). Again, I'm counting on Dixiebelle to help me with this, as she's already put together a few weeks' worth of menu suggestions and hey, why re-invent the wheel, right?
Stay tuned for screams of horror from the mini-Tiaras as they realise what September holds for them!