A Year of Meatless Monday Recipes Feature Local, Seasonal Food

One year ago Bedford 2020 was in the midst of a Meatless Monday campaign to raise awareness about the connection between food and climate change. Even though that campaign has ended, we are happy to hear that many people continue to participate, and we are still hearing about its influence.

Bedford 2020 encouraged people to reduce their weekly meat consumption over a 12-week period because plant-based eating has a lower carbon footprint than eating meat. After the campaign, we reported the results back to the community – participating households, by skipping meat one day a week, saved the carbon equivalent of driving 56,113 less car miles! With these results, many people learned that eating less meat could be an important tool to combat climate change.

During the campaign, restaurant and business partners put up posters, promoted Meatless Monday on their social media platforms, and created additional vegetarian menu items. Similarly, Pound Ridge Organics signed on as a partner, and has continued their Meatless Monday efforts well beyond the 12-week campaign.

60 Meatless Monday Local Food Recipes

From the time of its inception in 2009, Pound Ridge Organics, a certified humane farm, organic food co-op and market, has encouraged members to go meatless one day a week. Pound Ridge Organics owner, farmer and chef Donna Simons signed her farm on as a Meatless Monday partner at the Bedford 2020 Climate Action Summit in 2018. Donna agreed not only to continue to encourage her readers to go meatless at least one day a week, but also committed to distributing weekly seasonally-inspired meatless recipes featuring locally sourced ingredients that she would make available in her market. 

Over sixty recipes later, Pound Ridge Organics’ robust readership is not only reducing their meat consumption (at least) one day a week, but also thinking seasonally and locally. Donna says “I feel an even greater connection with my Co-Op members and subscribers by helping them to break out of their comfort zone, try new and unfamiliar ingredients, and feel at ease and empowered in their own kitchens.” She says “preparing food should be as enjoyable as eating it” and she tries to impart that spirit in her weekly recipes.

Some recipes from her Donna’s winter collection include: Roasted Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed With Crispy Goat Cheese, Smoked Trout With Green Apple Horseradish Cream, Potato Apple Soup, and Lithuanian Borscht Soup.

Buying Local Food in Winter

While Meatless Mondays is just one way to reduce one’s carbon “foodprint” – it is a good first step to understanding the complexities of the food-climate connection.

© Donna Simons – Pound Ridge Organics

The next step, also promoted by Donna’s recipes, is to eat local food as much as possible. From avoiding the deleterious effects of industrial-sized livestock operations (CAFOs) to cutting down on “food miles” our food travels from farm to plate, eating local can reduce your carbon footprint.

Go Local for Fruits, Vegetables and Grains

Donna encourages, “local seasonal ingredients are tastier than those that sit on a semi-truck traveling 3,000 miles (organic or not).” Local food produced on sustainable small farms has a smaller carbon footprint, it is more nutritious, and your purchases support our local food system and economy.

This time of year in addition to local meat, eggs and cheese, you may find at your local farm market:

  • Squash, potatoes, various root vegetables, and apples from the fall harvest
  • Greenhouse grown salad greens, spinach, pea shoots, mushrooms
  • Seafood and shellfish
  • Breads and baked goods
  • Honey, preserves, salsas and sauces, and local cider and wine

Go Local for “Better Meat – Less Often

© Donna Simons – Pound Ridge Organics

Eating local and sustainably raised meat goes a long way to reducing your carbon footprint as well.  When you do choose to eat animals and animal products, buy local, grass-fed meat, local eggs and cheese, and sustainably and ethically raised poultry – and buy only what you will consume.

Donna Simons is also the leader of Slow Food Metro North, a chapter of the international Slow Food Movement. She proffers, “100% pastured meat from small, organic, local, high welfare farms will be more expensive than mass produced feed-lot meat, so I always recommend buying better meat and consuming it less often as a way to be kinder to our wallets, bodies and the environment.”

Try your local farm market, farm stand, or check out Pound Ridge Organics!

Learn For Yourself

Pound Ridge Organics Teaching Kitchen will begin offering classes in just a few weeks. April’s theme is ‘Starting From The Ground Up’ and will focus on the relationship between food and the earth as well as facilitating foundation kitchen skills for the beginner as well as experienced cooks. April’s sessions will include: Making Your Own Indoor Worm Composters; Knife Care & Skills; Basics Of Broths & Stocks; Feed Lot VS Pastured Meats; How To Make Home-Made Beverages And Cocktail Mixers and a Special Earth Day Tribute with a very special guest.

The schedule will be posted on  the website: Pound Ridge Organics, where you can also subscribe to the Pound Ridge Organics newsletter. You can learn more by following Pound Ridge Organics on Instagram and Facebook

Grow Your Own

Read about how one beginner gardener has ventured to grow food indoors this winter.