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    Frequently Asked Questions on MFM

    Why Mondays?

    As the first day of the week, Mondays are a great time to start afresh and prioritise new positive, healthy lifestyle goals. With research finding that many people use Mondays to set plans and refocus, it’s the perfect time to jump into a new food challenge.

    Can taking one day off a week really make a difference?

    Absolutely. Many Australians are overwhelmed by the messages they receive about how to reduce their footprint and ‘go green’. Taking a day off meat is one of the most powerful actions you can take to reducing your environmental footprint. With livestock accounting for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions – more than the entire transportation sector combined – a simple reduction can go a long way.

    We want people to begin thinking about how the food they eat is connected to their health and the environment. As just a single day, Meat Free Mondays is a simple and easy way to do that.

    Australian farmers are having a tough time at the moment. Won’t eating less meat hit hardest on farmers who need our support?

    Everyday, Australian farmers are responsible for putting fresh, nutritious food on our plates. As a country we are blessed with a rich and diverse source of home grown foods, from fruit and veggies, grains and pulses to dairy products, seafood and meat. Meat Free Mondays is about encouraging Australian to build this diversity into their diets by taking a day off meat. We see it as part of celebrating local, Australian produce and the farmers who grow it.

    Do I need to worry about not getting enough protein if I take a day off meat?

    Absolutely not. Taking a day off meat need not mean you forgo protein – in fact, it can be an opportunity to stock up on fantastic meat-free proteinS that have a whole series of great health benefits. Foods such as chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, beans, lentils, tofu, nuts and seeds are fantastic sources of protein and whole grains and legumes may even reduce your risk of heart disease. Soy proteins in particular have also been found to be rich in dietary fibre and make for a huge number of delicious meals.

    The range of products from the Fry’s Family also contain all 8 essential amino acids and are high in protein – making them a quick and simple way to get all the protein you need from a meat free diet.

    I’m a young healthy woman and it’s important that I have enough iron in my diet. Isn’t eating red meat the easiest way for me to do that?

    A single day off meat is unlikely to affect your overall iron levels. Iron can be found in many meat-free foods such as lentils, soy beans, nuts, eggs, tofu and tempeh, as well as iron power houses like spinach, broccoli, bok choy and tomatoes.

    I could never do Meat Free Mondays – I’d have no idea what to cook. Wouldn’t I just end up having to eat tofu and lentils?

    Not at all. A comment the MFM team often receive is that while people want to improve what they eat and help the environment, they think meat free food is somehow boring, hard to cook or not as exciting as meat-based food. As a team of meat eating folk who’ve embraced MFM, we can wholeheartedly tell you, it’s just not true. Head over to our recipes section for inspiring ideas for a meat free day, and check out the huge number of fabulous online blogs looking to spark your meat free cooking. You’ll be surprised what a new world of cooking it’ll open up.

    Many meatlovers find that meat replacements are a great way to ‘bridge the gap’ on meatfree days. Products such as those from Frys Family Foods which replicate the taste and texture of meat offer an easy alternative to your normal ‘go-to’ meats and can be part of a veggie-rich meal on Mondays.

    Is a meatless diet automatically healthier?

    The simple act of removing meat from your diet for one day won’t in itself mean you’re eating better – maintaining a balanced diet is important, no matter what you eat. By avoiding meats for just one day, you can however reduce your weekly intake of saturated fats, and even stock up on things like fresh veggies, hearty pulses, whole grains, nuts and eggs – things you might forget to eat during the normal working week.

    Can’t I just reduce my meat intake generally rather than going meat free for a whole day?

    Making a small change to the amount of meat you’re eating will make a huge difference, no matter which day you do it. If Mondays are a difficult day for you, swap it for another day, or even replace it with a series of meat free lunches if a whole day is too daunting for you to begin with.

    Ultimately, we’re not interested in strict rules about what you can and can’t eat. The idea of Meat Free Mondays is simply to make meat free meals part of our normal, balanced way of eating.

    Where can I find out more about making healthy meat-free meals?

    You’ve come to the right place. Check out the recipe finder here for a tonne of great cooking ideas for your Meat Free Monday and make sure you’re making the most of the day by heading over to Dr Rosemary Stanton’s ultimate nutrition tips for MFM.

    Taking one day off meat need not be a cause for nutritional stress. If you have a normal balanced diet, a meatless day is unlikely to cut into your iron or protein levels, and in fact, will point you in the right direction by making you think about food powerhouses like veggies, grains and legumes. You’ll feel all the better for it.

    Love the campaign – how can I do more to support the cause?

    Fantastic! There are so many ways you can get behind Meat Free Mondays and help us spread the word. Here are some easy suggestions:

    Organise a dinner. Meat Free Mondays are the perfect excuse to dig out the recipe books, throw a few beers/wines/lime &sodas in the Esky and have some friends over for a ‘welcome to the week’ bowl of something great. As well as being a sociable way to ease your way into the week, it’s also a great means to involve friends who might not ordinarily think to go meat-free. And if the idea of entertaining on a Monday makes you internally shriek hysterically and run for the cover, host a Meat Free Saturday or Sunday (there’s less alliteration, but it’s just as good for your body and your planet!)

    Get the family involved. If you’re usually a lone soldier in the kitchen, use MFM as a motivator to get kids, partners, housemates or friends into the fray. Set your family the challenge, prepare a meal together and enjoy the pleasures of shared cooking.

    Be a Meat Free Ambassador and organize an event at your school, uni, workplace or community group. As well as creating a fun foodie event, you’ll be surprised how much of a talking point it becomes. Tell people you’re doing Meat Free Mondays and you’ll be sure to find yourself in an interesting conversation in no time. We certainly have.

    Remember, hearing stories of MFM success warms the cockles of our heart. If you have photos, stories or ideas about Meat Free Mondays, do send them our way – we’d love to hear them. Get in touch on facebook or by email.

    Meat Free Mondays