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Make Your Mondays Meatless

Have you cut the meat from the beginning of your week yet? Let Meatless Monday help. Meatless Monday is a nonprofit initiative developed to promote healthy, environmentally friendly, meat-free alternatives.

On its website, Meatless Monday states it's a "broad-based, grassroots movement that spans all borders and demographic groups." Cutting out meat one time per week, it says, can improve health, shrink our carbon footprint and help reduce global climate change.

But it's nothing new. During the First World War, Herbert Hoover, then president of the U.S. Food Administration, cooked up campaigns that encouraged citizens to reduce consumption of key food staples in order to aid the war effort. "Meatless Monday" and "Wheatless Wednesday" were introduced to galvanize Americans to do their part to support troops fighting overseas.

The response was overwhelming. Some 10 million families, 7,000 hotels and 425,000 food dealers pledged to observe national meatless days. And in just one week in November 1917, New York City hotels saved 116 tons of meat.

Today's campaign benefits from both celebrity and online buzz. Oprah Winfrey , for example, just announced that her company, Harpo Productions , will offer meatless Mondays at the studio where her show is taped. And Oprah encourages her vast audience to participate as well.

Featuring an array of recipes, as well as restaurateurs, writers and celebrities, many of whom are featured on the site, Meatless Monday might become as popular as, well, ice cream sundaes. You never know.

Please let me know if your Mondays are meatless (or your Wednesdays wheatless, for that matter.)

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