Friday,12 October,2012 12:33:09
A recent survey in the U.S. indicated that Meatless Monday can be an effective tool to meet the goal of U.S. families eating fewer servings of meat and saturated fat. It seems to have got a fair share of coverage.
With seafood consumption easing surely this is a major opportunity for the industry to build on sales?
According to reports an online survey conducted by FGI Research found Meatless Monday not only influenced people to reduce meat intake, but encouraged them to incorporate healthier alternatives — 73 percent said they ate more vegetables, 64 percent ate more fruit, 42 percent ate more beans and 47 percent ate more whole grains.
The survey, which is being presented at the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Food & Nutrition Conference in Philadelphia, also reportedly found 36 percent or respondents said they were aware of Meatless Monday and that the campaign influenced their decision to cut back or to consider cutting back on meat. Fifty percent said they’ve experimented with new meatless recipes when they cook at home and 42 percent have tried more meatless meals when eating out.
Sid Lerner, chairman and founder of The Monday Campaigns was reported as saying “We started out with the simple goal of cutting back on meat and saturated fat and along the way found that Meatless Monday had become a way to get lots of delicious meatless alternatives on America’s plates.”
Interestingly British music icon Paul McCartney and his daughters Stella and Mary have contributed some of his favorite vegetarian recipes for “The Meat Free Monday Cookbook,” published this month by Kyle Books. There are also recipe contributions by people like Mario Batali, Woody Harrelson, Vivienne Westwood, Kevin Spacey and Pink.
Speaking of McCartney he had a relation who was in a group called The Scaffold and their main claim to fame was a song entitled “Today’s Monday.” The lyrics of the song get to the line “Today's Friday, today's Friday, Friday is fish” — oh yes how true!
The story goes, according to the Rev Kev Collins website, “in the first century, Jews fasted on Mondays and Thursdays. The original Christians were all Jewish and were used to the fasting as a spiritual discipline. They moved the fast days to Wednesdays and Fridays, because Judas engineered Jesus’ arrest on a Wednesday and Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Most often that fast took the form of avoiding meat in the diet. In those days, meat was a luxury food. You either had to buy it in a market or you had to own enough land to keep cattle. On the other hand, anyone could grow vegetables or forage for them, and anyone could catch a fish in a lake or a stream. You could buy better fish and vegetables, but the point is that you could eat without money if you were poor. So meat was rich people's food and fish was poor people's food. That is why the most common form of fasting was to omit meat and eat fish.”
Additionally, as anyone in fish retail will tell you, we know there is still a strong following at Lent and particularly the beginning on Ash Wednesday. It is locked into the tradition and I am aware some companies take advantage of this with promotional activity building on the Easter and Lent background.
Let us claim the day — Friday is Fish and from there we can march onward and upward to Salmon Saturday, Shrimp Sunday, Mussel Monday, Tilapia Tuesday, Whiting Wednesday and Trout Thursday — think of how easy we will make it for everyone!