Today is the beginning of Natonale Week Zonder Vlees (National Week without Meat) in the Netherlands. This challenge to eat only vegetarian meals for a week runs from March 9th through March 15th, 2020. A number of restaurants and schools are also participating.
You can sign up via this link: Week Zonder Vlees. Once you sign up, you have access to a magazine with vegetarian meal recipes, tips and information to make your week without eating meat a feasible transition. This annual event was started by Isabel Boerdam, a vegetarian, foodblogger and author of De Hippe Vegetarier.
According to the Mayo Clinic, switching to a vegetarian diet has many health benefits. Here is a quote from a Mayo Clinic article on meatless Meals.
“A plant-based diet, which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, legumes and nuts, is rich in fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. And people who don’t eat meat — vegetarians — generally eat fewer calories and less fat, weigh less, and have a lower risk of heart disease than non-vegetarians do.”
Meatless Meals: The Benefits of Eating Less Meat. Mayo Clinic, July 26, 2017. Read the full article here.
Both Dutch versions of Women’s Health Magazine and Men’s Health magazine have online articles about Nationale Week Zonder Vlees, but the articles are definitely catered to their audience. Women’s health provides daily recipes to inspire you.
Men’s Health uses an entirely different image to convey the benefits of Nationale Week Zonder Vlees. If an image is worth a thousand words, then this image says ‘healthy, strong men also eat vegetables.’
From an environmental perspective, going vegetarian is great for the planet. In the book “Verborgen Impact” (hidden/buried impact), here are a few statistics about meat.
Er zit 15.000 liter water verborgen in 1 kilo rundvlees. (There are 15,000 liters of water used in just 1 kilo beef (hidden impact when you count water use for all phases of production, from growing food for the animal all the way to transportation). (Source: p. 69 De Verborgen Impact. Babette Porcelijn 2016)
Other water facts associated with meat and the hidden impact of water consumption:
120 gram rundvlees (beef) = 1800 liters water
120 gram varkenvlees (pork) = 630 liters water
120 gram kip (chicken) = 480 liters water
Source: De Verborgen Impact. p. 65. Babette Porcelijn 2016
Would you like to learn more about our Verborgen Impact in the Netherlands, not only in regards to food, but in what we buy, how we travel and how we live? Then visit this website in the caption above and get your own copy. (Only available in Dutch).
There is also plenty of inspiration to keep you going during the week without meat!