Going Meat-Less: Easy Strategies for Cutting Back

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Getting your family to eat less meat is better for your health and your pocketbook. Besides lowering the amount of saturated fat you eat, eating meat (or, as some people call it, going “flexitarian”) can save the average family almost $500 a year.

But sometimes it’s hard to find ways to eat less meat, especially when we’re so used to meat being at the center of the plate.
But a flexitarian diet, where people eat mostly vegetables and grains, but add meat for flavoring, can work in your family’s favor.

The more I learn about how food is produced in this country—and, in many cases, food is “produced,” as opposed to “farmed”—the more discomfort I feel, particularly when it comes to the factory farming of meat. Eating less meat is a way of choosing not to participate fully in a system I find needlessly cruel, both to animals and the planet as a whole.

But while I’d like to eat less meat, I have no intention of becoming a vegetarian. I have no philosophical objections to a hamburger. But I’m beginning to have very real objections to subjecting a cow to a lifetime of suffering just so I can eat that hamburger—especially when there’s a better way to get that burger into my belly.

“The current system of livestock farming is contributing the largest percentage to our greenhouse gases, and also ground pollution,” says Susie Middleton, food writer and author of “Fast, Fresh, and Green.” “It’s a system that’s not sustainable. We have to support an alternative form of farming: Using livestock and crop rotation to get back to a type of farming that more closely mimics what nature intended.”

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